Lakers Notes: Caruso, Rondo, KCP, McGee

Lakers guard Alex Caruso received assurances from the new coaching staff that he’d have a legitimate chance to make the rotation before he agreed to re-sign, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register reports.

Caruso’s conversation with coach Frank Vogel convinced him to ink a two-year, $5.5MM deal in July, though Caruso did not receive a bigger offer in the early stages of free agency.

“I knew there was opportunity,” Caruso said. “Coach Vogel called me when I was pretty close to making a decision and said there’s opportunity for minutes and that’s all I’ve ever needed in my career.”

Vogel has delivered on that pledge. Caruso has played in 27 of 29 games, averaging 5.4 PPG in 20.4 MPG.

Goon provided a number of other insights regarding the players who re-signed with the Lakers in free agency:

  • Rajon Rondo knew when he agreed to a two-year, $5.26MM contract with a player option that he’d have a reduced role. Rondo has appeared in 17 games, averaging 7.7 PPG and 5.6 APG in 21.36 MPG. “Very transparent,” the veteran point guard said of the front office’s plans for him. “Told me my role coming in, what they expected from me and how I could be a part of this run we’re trying to make.”
  • Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said it wasn’t a slam dunk he’d return, even though agent Rich Paul also represents the Lakers superstars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis“I wanted to be back, but with my agent, went through the process of free agency,” he said. “Pros and cons, where I want to be. It was all about what I wanted, and we just took it from there.” Caldwell-Pope signed an incentive-laden two-year, $19MM deal with a player option.
  • Center JaVale McGee was intent on returning, especially when he learned that Davis preferred to play power forward, opening a starting spot for him. McGee took a two-year, $8.2MM deal with a player option. He’s averaging 7.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 27 starts. “I felt like this is the best opportunity for me to possibly start and win the championship out of any other team,” he said. “I took it.”
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6 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Caruso, Rondo, KCP, McGee

  1. brandoningramno1fan

    Rondo repairing his image, for sure. KCP, though, has been dog-sh……

    • SheltonMatthews

      They’re 16-3 when he starts and he’s been in double figures 5 games in a row and 6 of 7. Has he been an all-star? No. Was he good when the season started? No. But has he been better lately, and do they play well with him on the floor? Yes.

  2. aircarter777

    All good but the Lakers are the 2nd best team in their city. Im guessing itll most likely be the Clippers vs the Bucks in the championship and whoever’s the hottest and healthiest at that moment will win that series.

  3. Dark14ry

    The NBA wants and needs the Lakers to be good. They gave them a schedule that assures them a top 5 position through the 1st half.

    • amk3510

      They have plenty of quality wins. So sweeping the @Denver, Utah, Portland trip was planned by the NBA? Or having the 3rd longest road win streak in history? Yeah sure

    • greenbowlpacker

      Schedules are not NBA Randomly giving a certain team advantage. Lakers December has been one of most difficult. All that matters is where your team lands after 82 games.

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