The Los Angeles Lakers are on a three-game winning streak and seem to have mostly righted the ship now that they have an above .500 record (7-6) for the first time in nearly two years.
But if the team encounters a rough patch between now and the trade deadline, they could look to shuffle the decks. Apparently one option they might have on the table, according to Kevin O’Connor while speaking on “The Ringer NBA Show,” could be to send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Philadelphia 76ers, who are canvassing the league for shooters (emphasis mine):
”(The Sixers’) depth is depleted. They need to add shooting, I had in my article on Saturday that they still retain interest in Cavs wing Kyle Korver, I’ve since heard that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on the Lakers is a guy that they could have eyes for, but even then, Korver is obviously one of the greatest shooters ever, KCP is an inconsistent shooter. I’m not sure how much he would solve their issues, but the point is that they need to find shooting.”
Since he was signed this summer, Caldwell-Pope can’t be traded until Dec. 15, but even then the real question with this is: Why would the Lakers send him to the Sixers? Sure they might want to change things up, but Caldwell-Pope has played better of late and the front office is unlikely to just give him away.
O’Connor theorized that Wilson Chandler could work in a potential swap, but would the Lakers really want him? Chandler’s $12.8 million contract expires at the end of the year, and so financially acquiring him would be a wash in terms of benefit on the Lakers’ books. He also wouldn’t be a shooting or defensive upgrade on Caldwell-Pope — which is why the Sixers would want to make this trade in the first place, so he alone wouldn’t seem to be enough to get a deal done.
The Lakers could try and get some type of asset from the Sixers in a theoretical deal, but would they really downgrade in talent during one of their 3-4 years employing LeBron James just for a minimal future asset? Especially if it meant trading a player who is also represented by Klutch Sports?
The other factors here are that this deal can only get done if Caldwell-Pope wants it done, because by virtue of signing a one-year deal with Early Bird rights after completion of his first season with the Lakers, and has a trade-kicker in salary.
The Lakers would also likely only do this as a move to do right by a player who has had less of an impact on them this season overall then they probably hoped going into the campaign. But it’s not like Caldwell-Pope would necessarily see a much bigger role in Philadelphia heading into free agency, so it’s hard to see why he’d want the Sixers, specifically.
Maybe this trade happens. I don’t doubt that Philadelphia might be interested in Caldwell-Pope, that isn’t what is at issue here. What remains to be seen is if they can offer anything to pique the Lakers’ interest, and right now it doesn’t appear so.
All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.