NBA Free Agent Rumors: Knicks Might Pursue Lakers Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

NBA Free Agent Rumors: Knicks Might Pursue Lakers Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

That the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to pursue two max-salary free agents like LeBron James and Paul George this summer is well known. Generating significantly less headlines are where the free agents currently on the Lakers’ roster, such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, might head after the season.

The Lakers haven’t openly ruled out re-signing Caldwell-Pope, but such a scenario would be disappointing for a team that has so openly spoken about having far bigger dreams for the summer.

Caldwell-Pope is averaging 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds on 41.6 percent shooting while making 35.7 percent of his 3-pointers.

And if he isn’t back with the Lakers, he presumably will still have multiple options in free agency. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, one of those could be the New York Knicks:

As the Knicks plot out their future during this downtrending season, a particular mold of player remains a priority for the front office, according to sources: an athletic wing.

One of that ilk who has piqued New York’s interest is Lakers forward Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Caldwell-Pope certainly fits the ideal at just 24 years old with potential as an elite perimeter defender. He does carry some baggage, however, after serving a jail sentence this season for violating probation

Caldwell-Pope isn’t quite as good on defense as his reputation would suggest, but as a young-ish wing with athleticism, a bit of shooting skill and some defensive chops, he would pair well with Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina in New York’s backcourt moving forward, and his struggles this season might even make him affordable for New York.

There is still a long ways to go before free agency, however, time in which New York’s plans could change. Still, it appears that despite a more difficult year than he probably hoped before trying to get a long-term deal for the second straight summer, Caldwell-Pope will have options in July.

They might not be as good as the five-year, $80 million extension Caldwell-Pope reportedly turned down with the Detroit Pistons, but that ship appears to have sailed and Caldwell-Pope will have to take the best of the options left on the table.

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