Earlier this season, Rich Paul and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would both have probably preferred to see Caldwell-Pope in a situation with a more clearly-defined role, where he could also get enough playing time to secure another contract this upcoming summer. The Los Angeles Lakers need his shooting right now though, and if the team overhauls their roster at the NBA trade deadline, he may basically be playing for a new team in a different role anyway.
That reality, combined with the Lakers frankly having bigger moves on their plate — is likely why Caldwell-Pope is going to remain a Laker for the remainder of the season, according to Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
The Lakers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had hoped to find a landing spot for the sixth-year guard before the NBA trade deadline Thursday, but he has not been part of the discussions to acquire for Davis.
Caldwell-Pope has veto power over any trade he might be involved in, and one person familiar with his situation who was not authorized to speak publicly said it is unlikely Caldwell-Pope will be traded before the deadline. He is playing on a one-year contract worth $12 million.
Another thing to keep in mind with Caldwell-Pope are the very valuable things he brings to the table as a player. He’s one of the few good shooters the Lakers have right now, and would immediately become the best shooter on the roster if they somehow pull off an Anthony Davis trade.
Caldwell-Pope would also probably want to stick around if Davis is acquired, as his role would likely expand beyond whatever it is right now in the roster-clearing aftermath. There are few teams that would offer as many wide open opportunities as one featuring LeBron James and Davis, and Caldwell-Pope could very easily showcase his abilities before free agency in a situation like that.
There was a report earlier that KCP might be moved for Jabari Parker over the next couple days, but that makes no sense for the Lakers unless the Chicago Bulls were willing to sweeten the pot with some kind of pick heading back to L.A.
Rich Paul tends to get his clients what they want, but in this case, it seems like that might end up being the same thing the Lakers are looking for. One thing we’ve definitely learned with the NBA trade deadline is that things can change rapidly, though, so we’ll keep you updated as these stories evolve.