Caldwell-Pope hasn’t been the $18 million man the Lakers thought they were getting when they signed him to a one-year deal this summer, but when his shot is falling like it was on Satuday, it’s hard to complain about what he doesn’t do.
KCP shot a blistering hot 57.1 percent from behind the arc on a game-high 14 attempts. He also did some work on the boards, grabbing an impressive seven defensive rebounds.
With rumors of Lonzo Ball and Isaiah Thomas, who made his return to Sacramento on Saturday, possibly sharing the starting backcourt in the near future, it was refreshing to see KCP respond with a monster performance like this one.
Thomas himself didn’t have a bad game either, scoring 17 points and four assists off the bench. As Thomas tries to find his rhythm after returning from injury, he is finding ways to impact the game through his playmaking and it shows with the spike in numbers from Ivica Zubac, who prior to Thomas’ arrival was buried deep on the bench.
Since then, Zubac has scored in double figures in two of his last three outings and that can be attributed to the attention Thomas draws off the bench.
Seven different Lakers scored in double figures on Saturday, including the aforementioned Thomas and KCP, as well as Brandon Ingram, Brook Lopez, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle, who with each game is playing his way out of the Lakers’ price range.
In his last 10 games, Randle is averaging 19.5 assists, 8.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He notched his fifth career triple-double Friday against his hometown Dallas Mavericks, who will likely aggressively pursue him this summer with their mountains of cap space.
Hopefully, the offer isn’t so big the Laker can’t justify keeping him around.
The Lakers will have Sunday off before traveling to Atlanta to face the Hawks, the worst team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the entire NBA.