According to reports, just a couple of weeks ago the Detroit Pistons were “bracing” for a possible Brooklyn Nets poisonous offer sheet to snatch RFA Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Detroit – an offer sheet which they fully expected to match.
Things changed in the last couple of days though. The first strange move from the Pistons front office occurred last Saturday, when Detroit signed Langston Galloway to a three year, $21m contract. The final blow came yesterday morning when news broke that the Celtics were trading Avery Bradley (and a pick) to the Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris, a move to open Boston’s cap space in order to be able to sign star free agent Gordon Hayward.
With three good players signed for the shooting guard position, the Pistons were now looking at KCP as little more than excess cap space. So it came as no surprise when, last night, they finally renounced their rights and made him an unrestricted free agent.
The problem is, the market is pretty much saturated on the shooting guard position. Many teams look at the 2 position as something interchangeable with the 1 (“you either are a ball-handler, wing or center” said a GM a couple of days ago), and most of the teams looking for a SG have already made their moves.
But KCP may be in luck, as two teams have emerged as top contenders to sign him: the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. We already knew of the Nets‘ interest in the young guard (see my first paragraph) and Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers would be interested in KCP if he’d be willing to sign a 1-year “balloon deal” with the team (high pay with no guarantees for the future).
Still, the Nets are the most likely destination for the new free agent. Especially if the reports of the Wizards matching Brooklyn’s offer sheet for Otto Porter Jr are true – if that’s the case, it’s just a matter of hours until we hear reports of the Nets‘ offer to secure their rights to Caldwell-Pope.