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Woj: Nets may pursue Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

The Brooklyn Nets want to pair a young backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Detroit Pistons have renounced their rights to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Pistons were “reluctant” to meet his $25 million-plus asking price, said Woj.

Shortly after that, Woj reported the Nets are “strong contenders” in the chase for KCP, assuming their pursuit for Otto Porter Jr. fails.

Woj also writes that the Nets are interested in pairing Caldwell-Pope with D’Angelo Russell as the backcourt of the future.

“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.”

Later Friday, Woj tweeted that the Nets now believe that the Wizards will match on Otto Porter and Brooklyn will turn to signing KCP.

Woj later reported that the Los Angeles Lakers, among others, might chase him as well.

However, with so little cap space available next summer, would Caldwell-Pope really want to risk injury —and a smaller deal— in 2018? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. It might have made since for 33-year-old J.J. Redick to take a $23 million deal with Philly, but KCP doesn’t have 10 years of high salary banked away like Redick does.

Still, as Bobby Marks said Friday, KCP will automatically become the top free agent target.

How much might Caldwell-Pope want? Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated provides a range.

There are issues the Nets run into, of course. Tim Bontemps reports the release of the Nets money offered Porter can be delayed until Wednesday, pending a physical with the Wizards. The Wizards have to make a decision by midnight Saturday, but can prolong the process to put the Nets in a difficult position to sign free agents going forward.

The question is will they? Neither Porter’s agent nor the players union would likely be happy.

The big indication that the Wizards will match came Friday afternoon. Washington renounced their rights to ex-Net Bojan Bogdanovic, clearing some space. If the Wizards had hung on to Bogdanovic, it could have been interpreted as Washington holding on to a possible Porter replacement.

Bogdanovic later signed with the Pacers, a two-year, $21 million deal, with the second year only partially guaranteed. Bogdanovic is 28.