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The Lakers are reportedly bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Come one, come all, Klutch clients.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are quickly working to reload their roster after losing out on Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers, and that means running back some of their own free agents.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth $16 million to return to the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope, who is also represented by Klutch Sports, has spent the last two years in Los Angeles on two individual one-year contracts.

The Lakers essentially had no backcourt players after completing the Anthony Davis trade, which cost them Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Jemerrio Jones. Now, they have a credible shooting guard rotation of Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, and Troy Daniels.

Presumably, Green will be the starter, but Caldwell-Pope will still receive substantial bench minutes. He had the best season of his career for the Lakers in 2017-18, averaging 13.4 points per game while shooting 38.3% on 5.6 3-point attempts per game. His shooting regressed last year when he was relegated to a backup role save for one good stretch in December. However, Caldwell-Pope did shoot 38.8% on wide-open threes last year, which are the kind of looks he can hope to get next to LeBron James and Davis.

The James/Caldwell-Pope pairing had a net rating of plus-2.7 last year, which was third-best among duos who appeared in at least half of the team’s games in 2018-19. Presumably the Lakers are relying on KCP’s familiarity with James to help bring some continuity into a lineup that will otherwise be very new to one another.

Caldwell-Pope has been a remarkably durable player throughout this career, which bodes well for a thin roster, at least at this point. The most games he has missed in a single season is eight, which came in 2017-18 when legal trouble prevented him from traveling out of state for road games for a month.

This is not a signing that moves the needle for the Lakers, but when they put themselves in the running for Leonard, the Lakers took the risk of having to scrape the bargain-bin for end of the roster signings.

Unfortunately, they don’t appear to have gotten a bargain with Caldwell-Pope. They are paying him less than they did last season, but he doesn’t appear to have had any market outside of Los Angeles, and is now cutting into the team’s cap space instead of playing on a minimum contract. Just like last summer, the Lakers are being far too generous to players who have no leverage.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. Here is a list of every free agent credibly connected to the Lakers so far.

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