Stein’s Latest: Caldwell-Pope, Sixers, Westbrook, Paul, Clippers, Lakers

Current Nuggets shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be among the top potential free agents this summer if he declines his $15.4MM player option for 2024/25. A three-and-D swingman still in his prime at age 31, Caldwell-Pope has been a starter on a pair of title teams this decade, with the 2020 Lakers and the 2023 Nuggets.

A pair of Eastern Conference contenders with major projected cap space have interest in the 6’5″ wing, according to Marc Stein (Substack link), who hears from sources that the Magic and Sixers are considering pursuing Caldwell-Pope.

Across 76 contests last season, the former Georgia standout averaged 10.1 points on .460/.406/.894 shooting splits, along with 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.6 blocks a night.

Here’s more from Stein’s most recent NBA intel:

  • Should the Sixers be unable to add a top potential free agent like Paul George, OG Anunoby or Caldwell-Pope, Stein notes that Philadelphia could opt to trade for Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram or Heat wing Jimmy Butler, the latter a former Sixer. Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, who could reach free agency should he not agree to an extension by June 30, is also an option, Stein adds.
  • Former MVP Russell Westbrook, now a bench guard for the Clippers, has a $4MM player option for 2024/25, but that may not stop L.A. from considering an upgrade at the position. The team has been linked to veterans Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry, both of whom are significantly better shooters and also more comfortable playing off the ball.
  • Stein hears that Paul would also draw interest from the Lakers if he reaches free agency, though the team’s interest in him may not be unanimous within the organization.
  • As far as the league’s two head coaching vacancies go, Stein reports that the Cavaliers are expected to make a decision soon, while the Pistons may wait until at least July to select their Monty Williams replacement. That would take Detroit through the draft this week and the start of free agency next weekend without a head coach.
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