Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who the Nets reportedly wanted to team up with D’Angelo Russell in their backcourt of the future, has signed a one-year $18 million deal with the Nets, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
KCP has been a target of the Nets for much of the past year, according to various reports. The 6’6” swingman’s defense, coupled with an offensive game that spanned both swing positions, would have made him an ideal player in Kenny Atkinson’s system.
The Nets originally had considered signing Caldwell-Pope, then a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet, but last week, the Pistons renounced his rights. KCP had rejected a five-year, $80 million extension from Detroit last season. Since June, the Pistons have drafted Luke Kennard out of Duke and signed Langston Galloway to a three-year, $21 million deal, eliminating the need for Caldwell-Pope.
Four days ago, Adrian Wojnarowski wrote of the Nets plans...
“The Brooklyn Nets are planning to be an aggressive pursuer of Caldwell-Pope, angling to pair him in a young backcourt with D'Angelo Russell, league sources told ESPN.”
There’s been no reporting yet on what Brooklyn may have offered KCP, if anything, but based on reports, it could have been a multi-year deal utilizing much of the team's remaining $17 million in cap space.
Woj noted that the Lakers pursuit of LeBron James next summer may have been one reason why the 24-year-old went for a one-year deal: Klutch Sports, run by James boyhood friend Rich Paul, reps KCP as well.
Wojnarowski reported that “as the Lakers' pursuit of LeBron James heats up, they bring in someone from Klutch Sports, and the one thing I think anybody knows if you're going to get at LeBron James, you need a roster of two-way players.”
Also uncertain early Wednesday morning: whether the Nets inability to use their full cap resources affected KCP’s decision. The Nets bid for Otto Porter on Thursday, only to have the Wizards match on Saturday. Washington, however, is stretching out the match process for an extra four days, two to schedule a physical and another two to review it. That process should end Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, the Nets are expected to finalize a trade sending Justin Hamilton to Toronto in a salary dump that will return DeMarre Carroll along with a first and second round pick.
What’s next for the Nets and Sean Marks? They still have at least $16.5 million in cap space left. Marks is said to have readied a back-up plan should KCP turn them down.
The best free agents still available are all restricted free agents: Nerlens Noel, who’s likely to stay in Dallas; Jonathon Simmons, who the Spurs have reportedly offered $9 million; JaMychal Green of the Grizzlies who supposedly could be had for a deal starting at $11 million; Mason Plumlee, the ex-Net now with the Nuggets who are intent on keeping him; Nicola Mirotic of the Bulls and Alex Len of the Suns, both disappointing international bigs. All but Simmons are bigs, an area of Nets need, Simmons is a 3, which Marks stated as a team need back in April. Carroll is expected to fill that role now.
The Nets could also choose not to make any major moves —they will have 16 players under contract once the Raptor deal is done— and harbor their remaining cap space for next summer when as many as half the NBA clubs will be in luxury tax territory.
Meanwhile, Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Lakers may offer Rajon Rondo the $4.3 million room exception to join the Laker backcourt.
- Sources: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope agrees to 1-year, $18M deal with Lakers - Brian Windhorst - ESPN
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope spurns Nets for Lakers - Brian Lewis - Newsday
- NBA Free Agency Rumors: Lakers sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to one-year, $18 million deal - Harrison Faigen - Silver Screen & Roll