A big part of the Los Angeles Lakers signing LeBron James was them signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million deal the summer before to establish a relationship with Klutch Sports agent, Rich Paul.
After James signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope then returned on another one-year, $12 million deal to remain in Los Angeles for the 2018-19 NBA season.
Caldwell-Pope didn’t perform as well in his second season with the Lakers as he did in his first. He lost his starting job and saw his minutes decrease, averaging 11.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists — which were all lower than the season before.
The Lakers are expected to bring back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a two year, $16 million deal, per league sources.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 6, 2019
After the Lakers patiently waited for Leonard, they will have to look elsewhere now. In their very first move, they signed Danny Green to a two-year, $30 million deal.
As it currently stands, Los Angeles will still have at least $9 million remaining in cap space along with their $4.7 million room exception. While there are not too many options left, it appears they also plan to bring JaVale McGee back to start at center.
With the Lakers signing Green, Caldwell-Pope and McGee, it would make sense for them to pursue a point guard. At this time, it appears Rajon Rondo could return for a second season after having success with Anthony Davis on the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers prioritizing Leonard in free agency cost them the chance to sign a ton of quality players but with James and Davis, they should still be able to compete for a championship as soon as this upcoming season.