The reigning NBA Champions - the Los Angeles Lakers - have been busy in the 2020 free agency market.
They have acquired or agreed to sign new, younger players like Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Wesley Matthews Jr. to bolster their supporting cast while either trading away or letting go of a few key rotation pieces in Danny Green, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo from their 2020 championships roster.
However, one player, from their supporting cast, who they aren't letting go of is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the shooting guard will return with the team on a three-year deal worth $40 million.
Free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a three-year, $40M deal with the Lakers, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
Charania further reports that the deal is set to be partially guaranteed for the 2022-23 season and gives him a guaranteed average salary of $15 million for the first two seasons. This is a huge pay upgrade for Caldwell-Pope, given that he opted out of an $8.49 million player option for the 2020-21 season less than a week before free agency.
This new deal will be his first guaranteed (no-option) multi-year deal since he was signed on as a rookie by the Detroit Pistons after they drafted eighth overall in 2013. Bringing Caldwell-Pope back, the most consistent and best player from the Lakers supporting cast during their most recent championship run, is a huge pick-up in free agency for the Lakers.
In 21 postseason games in 2020, he averaged 10.7 points - third only behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis - while shooting a tied team-best 37.8% from beyond the arc on a team-best 5.7 attempts per game.
Deals can only be agreed upon in principle until Nov. 22 at 12:01 p.m. ET, when they can be signed and made official.
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