Los Angeles Lakers: Each starters’ Mamba Mentality challenge

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Kobe Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Kobe Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Convince the Lakers to resign you

The Los Angeles Lakers are paying Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a lot of money to suit up in the purple and gold this season. Los Angeles signed Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $17,745,894 contract. Caldwell-Pope is making more money this one season than he has in his four years prior with the Pistons and is the second highest paid Laker behind Brook Lopez.

Caldwell-Pope certainly makes the Lakers better than they were before. The team had a hole at shooting guard which left them particularly thin in the back court as a whole. Jordan Clarkson is a talented individual and would have started their otherwise, but we saw last season that he played much better at the point guard position.

At the time, all the Lakers had was Ball, Clarkson, David Nwaba and rookie Josh Hart as viable options. Nwaba showed some good signs last season and Hart is yet to prove himself in the NBA, hence why signing Caldwell-Pope was so important. This directly attributes to why he is getting paid what he is.

Therefore, his challenge this season has to be to convince the Lakers to resign him after this deal. Unless they pursue a star in free agency to play shooting guard, Caldwell-Pope is their best option after this season. However, the team is likely not going to pay him $18 million again, so Caldwell-Pope needs to prove his worth to get a longer, $10-15 million deal.

Although Caldwell-Pope is very talented and has a lot of promise, he is going to need to average more than the 13.8 points per game he did last season.