December 8, 2021

Caldwell-Pope agrees three-year deal with Lakers

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a three-year, $40 million contract on Saturday, his agent Rich Paul confirmed to ESPN.

During the Lakers’ run to the 2020 NBA title, Caldwell-Pope emerged as their third-leading scorer and a fixture in their starting line-up.

Now they’ll get to see if he can continue to thrive during their defence of their championship.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's spectacular block prevented Tyler Herro from scoring in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 0:18
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s spectacular block prevented Tyler Herro from scoring in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

The 27-year-old Caldwell-Pope did not pick up his $8.5m player option prior to the start of NBA free agency on Friday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Re-signing Caldwell-Pope continued an offseason in flux for the defending champs, who traded Danny Green and lost Avery Bradley to free agency.

But in addition to bringing Caldwell-Pope back, the Lakers have acquired Dennis Schroder via trade and signed free agent Montrezl Harrell.

Anthony Davis didn’t pick up his player option and ESPN has reported he is going to wait out the next week to weigh his options. He is expected to eventually sign a max deal with Los Angeles.

After averaging 9.3 points per game in 69 games (23 starts) in the regular season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 10.7 points per game in 21 playoff games (all starts), third behind Davis (27.7) and LeBron James (27.6). Caldwell-Pope shot 37.8 per cent from behind the three-point line during the postseason, and he poured in 17 points in 33:26 of action during the Lakers’ title-clinching win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

During the regular season, Caldwell-Pope shot a career-best 38.5 per cent from three-point range.

The No 8 pick in 2013 by the Detroit Pistons, Caldwell-Pope originally signed with the Lakers in July 2017. This is the third time he has re-signed with Los Angeles.

Denver Nuggets retain Paul Millsap, lose Jerami Grant to Pistons – reports

Veteran power forward Paul Millsap agreed to a one-year, $10m deal to remain with the Denver Nuggets, his agent told The Athletic on Saturday.

Millsap just completed a three-year, $90m contract with the Nuggets.

The move to retain Millsap comes on the same day forward Jerami Grant departed as a free agent to sign with the Detroit Pistons. Grant reportedly received a three-year, $60m deal.

The 35-year-old Millsap is a four-time All-Star and has been a steady leader during Denver’s rise to becoming one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Millsap averaged 11.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 51 games (48 starts) last season. The scoring and rebounding averages were his lowest since he averaged 8.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in his second NBA season with the Utah Jazz in 2007-08.

Millsap has career averages of 14.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 996 games (709 starts) over 14 seasons with the Jazz (2006-13), Atlanta Hawks (2013-17) and Nuggets. All four of Millsap’s All-Star appearances came with Atlanta.

Grant, 26, averaged 12.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 71 games (24 starts) last season in his lone campaign in Denver.

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