Former Lakers Champ on Verge of Splitting With Current Team

A former Laker looks to be splitting from his current squad.
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers understand what needs to be done next season. With LeBron James only having a few years left in the tank, the time is now to win another title. Especially since their bitter rival Boston Celtics just won the NBA title.

This offseason is all about getting impactful players on the roster to get the Lakers back to being a serious championship contender.

The Lakers added a nice piece in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft. After Round 2 wraps up on June 27, the focus will then shift to free agency.

There will be plenty of movement around the league and a former champion with the Lakers looks to be headed towards a break up with his current team.

Sounds Like the Denver Nuggets Will Let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Walk in Free Agency

The Denver Nuggets are one of the top teams in the league. The Lakers unfortunately have fallen to them two years in a row during the playoffs.

But it sounds like the Nuggets are content with letting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope walk.

Nuggets GM Calvin Booth met with the media following the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft but he was asked about free agency. Booth didn't give a ringing endorsement on re-signing Caldwell-Pope. Instead, it sounded like they are prepared for him to leave.

"So, we can try to bring him back and if he doesn’t want to come back or opts to go somewhere else, that’s his prerogative so we’ll have to work with that. So, I think we’re prepared to like plug and play so to speak. When you look at some of the teams that have been good in the past, they had to find a way to replace fourth, fifth starters, sixth men off the bench and still keep rolling."

Calvin Booth

That was a bit surprising considering Caldwell-Pope is a smooth two-way threat in the backcourt. In two seasons with Denver, he averaged 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and shot 41% from beyond the arc.

With him likely headed elsewhere, it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Lakers to see if a reunion was possible. Los Angeles needs more shooting and wing defenders. Caldwell-Pope would provide both. During his four-year run with the Lakers from 2017-2021, he logged 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and made 37% of his 3-pointers.

He played a big part during the Lakers title run in 2020, where he averaged 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and two assists in the NBA Finals win over the Miami Heat.

With him expected to hit the open market, he will have a chance to head back to Los Angeles.

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