Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
25-Year-Old GuardG
Los Angeles Lakers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Last season marked Caldwell-Pope’s first with the Lakers, signing a one-year, $17.7 million contract with the team after four years with the Pistons. He set his lowest scoring average (13.4) since 2014-15 with, but set a career high in three-pointers made per game (2.1) and three-point percentage (38.3). He also remained a solid defender, matching his career high in steals per contest (1.4). Caldwell-Pope also garnered enough rebounds (5.2) and assists (2.2) to keep himself Fantasy relevant in most standard leagues. Signing another one-year deal, worth $12 million, Caldwell-Pope opted to stay in LA for 2018-19. He projects to be the Lakers’ starting shooting guard again, and should continue to get quality three-point looks due to the addition of LeBron James. It’s unlikely Caldwell-Pope will make any massive strides in his game, but will probably be productive enough to crack the top-100 Fantasy players. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Lakers in July of 2017.
Thrives in spot start
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 16, 2019
Caldwell-Pope delivered 17 points (4-11 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 8-10 FT), four rebounds, one assist and two steals across 31 minutes in the Lakers' 107-100 win over the Bulls on Tuesday.
KCP's entry into the starting five was a successful one, as he finished second only to Lonzo Ball in scoring for the Lakers on the night. Caldwell-Pope was just as impressive on the other end of the floor, helping hold the Bulls' Zach LaVine to 4-for-11 shooting and 10 points overall. The veteran two-guard replaced the ineffective Josh Hart in the starting lineup, one of two changes initiated by coach Luke Walton for Tuesday's contest. Given his solid effort, it's conceivable Caldwell-Pope gets another run with the first unit versus the Thunder on Thursday. Factoring in Tuesday's production, the 25-year-old has scored in double digits in three of the past four games.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the third straight season in 2016-17, Caldwell-Pope served as a full-time starter on the wing for the Pistons and averaged double-digit points while guarding the opposition’s top perimeter threat and providing reliable shooting. In the modern NBA, there will always be a place for a 6-foot-5, three-and-D wing like Caldwell-Pope, but a lack of consistency has stood in the way of him making the leap from “good” to “great” player. Though he posted career highs in 3-point percentage (35 percent) and assists per game (2.2) last season, Caldwell-Pope was prone to disappearing all too often, turning in 13 games of five points or less. After Caldwell-Pope became a restricted free agent this summer, the Pistons weren’t eager to commit major money to a player that ran so hold and cold, so the team went out and acquired Avery Bradley from the Celtics to fill the void at shooting guard and ultimately renounced KCP’s rights. The 24-year-old ended up settling for a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, who were in desperate need of a shutdown presence on the wing after allowing the third-most points in the league a season ago. Caldwell-Pope is projected to start in the backcourt alongside dynamic rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, whose excellent court vision should afford KCP some high-quality looks beyond the arc. However, if Caldwell-Pope’s erratic shooting frequently rears its head again, he could be in danger of losing more minutes to sixth man Jordan Clarkson as the season wears on.
One of the better perimeter defenders in the Eastern Conference, Caldwell-Pope has also developed into a reliable fantasy commodity since the arrival of coach Stan Van Gundy in Detroit. After averaging 31.5 minutes per game in 2014-15, Caldwell-Pope jumped up to 36.7 minutes last season, good for fourth in the league behind only James Harden, Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler. While Caldwell-Pope is far from a dynamic scorer or playmaker, his high minutes load is enough to keep his fantasy value afloat. The 23-year-old closed last season with averages of 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game -- all career bests -- while knocking down 1.5 three-pointers per game. Caldwell-Pope converted only 30.9 percent of his three-point looks, however, a number that could certainly rise considering he hit 34.5 percent of his attempts two seasons ago. Regardless, his value should remain fairly constant as he enters 2016-17 in a similar role alongside Reggie Jackson in the backcourt. Perhaps second-year wing Stanley Johnson could cut into Caldwell-Pope's workload, but it's unlikely that it would be enough of a reduction to threaten KCP's overall fantasy value.
Caldwell-Pope was a full-time starter in his second year in the NBA, which was also his first season with coach Stan Van Gundy. Through 82 games, KCP averaged 12.7 points, 1.9 three-pointers, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 32 minutes per game while shooting 40 percent from the field, 35 percent from three, and 70 percent from the line. Those numbers aren't good enough to make Caldwell-Pope useable in standard leagues, but given his ability to defend at an elite level, and the fact that he still has considerable untapped potential, there are lots of reasons to be intrigued with KCP this season. He was the go-to scorer at Georgia, getting his points shooting from deep and attacking the paint. Most of his scoring in the NBA thus far has come from deep, but he has shown flashes of what he can accomplish when he uses his elite athleticism to attack the rack. At this point in his career, he's little more than a 3-and-D player for fantasy purposes, and that's likely where he'll linger, but don't count KCP out of becoming a special player over the next couple seasons. While he's expected to start at shooting guard, Van Gundy said KCP, Marcus Morris, and Stanley Johnson will all compete for the starting spots at both shooting guard and small forward, which obfuscates some of KCP's potential. While he could be a decent grab at the end of deeper drafts right now, until Caldwell-Pope shows that he's taken further steps in his development this preseason, it's hard to recommend drafting him in most standard leagues.
Caldwell-Pope's rookie campaign was largely disappointing, but there were some highlights sprinkled in. The 2013 lottery pick finished his first season in the NBA with averages of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds 0.9 steals, and 0.7 three-pointers in 20 minutes per game. He appeared in 80 games total, which included 41 starts at shooting guard. Caldwell-Pope struggled with his shot for much of the season, shooting 40 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three-point land. In the rare instances where he went to the charity stripe (0.8 free-throw attempts per game), KCP knocked down a steady 77 percent of his freebies. While he struggled to adapt to the NBA on the offensive end of the court, Caldwell-Pope received rave reviews for his parameter defense and energy, both of which will help him carve out minutes in the Pistons rotation. The biggest key to Caldwell-Pope's role will be his offensive development. He has already shown flashes of ability on the offensive end of the court, including a 30-point outburst in the season finale last year and a strong showing (24.0 points per game) in the summer league this year. The Pistons have a new coaching staff and lured Jodie Meeks to town via free agency, so it remains to be seen what kind of role Caldwell-Pope will hold in his sophomore campaign. The 21-year-old still has plenty of time to live up to his draft pedigree, but the ceiling for his fantasy potential will be determined by his offensive development.
Following a sophomore season at Georgia in which he averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, Caldwell-Pope declared for the NBA Draft and was selected eighth overall by the Pistons. With Rodney Stuckey seemingly stalling in his development at shooting guard the last few years, it appears the organization will give Caldwell-Pope every chance to win the starting shooting guard job out of training camp. Caldwell-Pope struggled finding his stroke in his initial exposure to professional basketball in the summer league, but the proficiency he showed from mid- and long-range in college should ultimately allow him to score at the next level. One of the bigger questions with Caldwell-Pope is his ability to adapt to a secondary role working off the ball. Caldwell-Pope posted high usage numbers and low assist totals as a one-man show for a middling Georgia squad last season, but he'll likely be asked to acquiesce to Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith on the wing for the Pistons in his rookie season. Should Caldwell-Pope fail to thrive in a complementary capacity, veterans Stuckey, Chauncey Billups and Kyle Singler could steal minutes from him.
More Fantasy News
Enters starting five
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 15, 2019
Caldwell-Pope will start Tuesday against the Bulls, Mike Trudell of the Lakers' official site reports.
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Likely to draw start
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 15, 2019
Caldwell-Pope is expected to move into the starting five Tuesday against the Bulls, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Lights up old squad in win
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 10, 2019
Caldwell-Pope poured in 15 points (6-10 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and added six rebounds and four assists across 26 minutes in the Lakers' 113-100 win over the Pistons on Wednesday.
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Puts up 19 points in spot start
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 5, 2019
Pope collected 19 points (6-16 FG, 4-12 3Pt, 3-3 FT), six rebounds and three assists across 36 minutes in Friday's 119-112 loss to the Knicks.
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Heats up off bench
GLos Angeles Lakers
January 3, 2019
Caldwell-Pope poured in 25 points (6-14 FG 5-11 3Pt, 8-10 FT) and added three rebounds, two assists and two steals across 34 minutes in the Lakers' 107-100 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday.
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