The Pistons renounced the rights to Caldwell-Pope after signing Langston Galloway and trading for Avery Bradley this offseason, effectively allowing the 2013 first-rounder to sign with any team he pleases. In heading west to Los Angeles, Caldwell-Pope figures to join Lonzo Ball as a starter in the Lakers' backcourt who brings solid defense and is coming off a career-high 35-percent from downtown.
Caldwell-Pope (suspension) had his rights renounced by the Pistons on Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
With the Pistons trading for Avery Bradley on Friday morning, the team looks to be moving on from the 24-year-old out of Georgia, as they've made him an unrestricted free agent. With that, Caldwell-Pope is free to sign with whoever he wants, and Detroit no longer has the ability to match an offer he's accepted. Caldwell-Pope is coming off averaging 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per game in his fourth NBA season and could see an expanded offensive role in 2017-18, depending on who he ends up signing with. This move also ensures that Avery Bradley will be the Pistons' starting shooting guard next season.
Caldwell-Pope's suspension stems from his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence back in March. A restricted free agent this offseason, Caldwell-Pope is expected to garner significant interest around the league, but the Pistons ultimately reserve the right to match any offer he receives. Despite the lottery selection of fellow sharpshooter Luke Kennard on Thursday, it's anticipated that Detroit will exercise its right to keep KCP, even though he'll now be forced to sit out the first couple games next season. Just 24 years old, Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 three-pointers on 35 percent shooting from deep last season.
Kennard is great shooter and gives the Pistons a weapon off the bench that should help improve their 28th overall three-point percentage from last season. While Caldwell-Pope is still expected to start, if Kennard can produce at a high-level, it may lead the Pistons to some difficult decisions next offseason when KCP will be a restricted free agent.
Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points (6-18 FG, 3-10 3Pt, 5-6 FT) and added four rebounds and one steal in 29 minutes during Wednesday's 113-109 loss to the Magic
After sever poor outings, Caldwell-Pope was able to end the season on a high note. Caldwell-Pope is an inconsistent player, but he is still improving. The 24-year-old posted his best per-36 minutes numbers of his four-year career this season.
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