Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Suspended For Two Games

Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be suspended for two games to open the 2017/18 regular season, the NBA announced today in a press release. According to the league, Caldwell-Pope is being suspended for pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He’ll lose two games’ worth of pay, based on his 2017/18 salary.

Caldwell-Pope was arrested in March on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to reports at the time, KCP was pulled over at approximately 2:50 a.m. in Auburn Hills and was put through a sobriety test, which he failed.

It will be a big summer for Caldwell-Pope, who is eligible for restricted free agency. Although his arrest – and suspension – will be something potential suitors take into consideration, it’s unlikely to be a major factor — he’ll still be in line for a significant payday, and I expect the Pistons will be ready to match just about any offer he receives.

In 76 games last season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.8 PPG, shooting 35.0% on three-point attempts.

Woj’s Latest: Celtics, Griffin, CP3, LeBron, Snell

The Celtics are expected to be the Clippers‘ biggest threat for Blake Griffin this summer, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who discussed 2017 free agency on a podcast with Bobby Marks. Wojnarowski suggests that Griffin and Gordon Hayward are expected to be the Celtics’ top two targets next month, adding that if Hayward leaves the Jazz, it would be a “tortured” decision.

As for the Clippers, Wojnarowski doesn’t see a scenario in which the club is able to bring back Griffin, Chris Paul, and J.J. Redick. And while Redick is probably the most likely of the three to change teams, Woj thinks there’s a “real chance” the Clippers would move on from from Paul if the two sides can’t come to a quick agreement when free agency begins. Wojnarowski names the Spurs, Heat, Lakers, and Rockets as teams that could get involved in the CP3 sweepstakes if the veteran point guard seriously considers leaving the Clips.

Here are some of the other highlights from Wojnarowski’s conversation with Marks:

  • The Cavaliers aren’t necessarily assuming it’s a given that LeBron James will re-sign with them in 2018. A move out west – possibly to the Lakers or Clippers – a year from now is “very much in play” for LeBron, according to Wojnarowski.
  • Wojnarowski suggests that Tony Snell may be a popular restricted free agent this summer, since teams may feel like they can put pressure on the Bucks, who won’t want to approach tax territory. An annual salary in the $11-13MM range is within range for Snell, says Wojnarowski.
  • During a discussion of possible Nets RFA targets, Wojnarowski mentions Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and notes that the Pistons don’t really want to max him out. However, the idea of losing KCP for nothing would likely be even less appealing to Detroit.
  • While the Lakers haven’t necessarily made any decisions yet, they’re “looking hard” at Josh Jackson with the No. 2 pick. Wojnarowski observes that there are a lot of voices in the team’s front office, so Jackson has support from some execs.
  • Wojnarowski and Marks dismiss the idea that the Kings would trade the fifth and 10th overall picks to move up to No. 3 to nab a top point guard. However, they acknowledge that Sacramento packaging the No. 5 pick with something a little less valuable in order to trade up wouldn’t be unrealistic.

East Notes: Ball, Knicks, Caldwell-Pope

Any NBA team considering drafting Lonzo Ball later this month will do so knowing full well that the UCLA product comes part and parcel with his boisterous father. One Sixers executive, special adviser Jerry Colangelo, thinks that Lavar Ball could make things “challenging”.

Colangelo spoke with CBS Sports radio (h/t Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic) and discussed the point guard from the Sixers’ perspective. As critical as Colangelo was, however, he was sure to acknowledge Ball as a terrific prospect and said that teams wouldn’t likely bypass the player because of it.

Though it’s merely our speculation, the comments could be little more than a Sixers smokescreen, a common tactic in the weeks leading up to the draft. Philadelphia, of course, would benefit from the Lakers having second thoughts and opting against drafting the acclaimed prospect.

Just yesterday it was reported that Los Angeles was supposedly leaning against drafting Ball, with their interest in prospects Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox allegedly growing.

There’s more out of the East:

Nets Will Pursue Otto Porter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

The Nets are planning an aggressive push for restricted free agents again, with Washington’s Otto Porter and Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as targets, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM.

It would be the continuation of a strategy that resulted in a four-year, $75MM offer sheet for Portland’s Allen Crabbe and a four-year, $50MM offer to Miami’s Tyler Johnson last summer. Both deals were matched by their current teams.

Similar offers this year would create financial dilemmas for the Wizards and Pistons, Smith adds (Twitter link).

Brooklyn has about $27MM in cap room right now and could easily get into position to offer a max deal to Porter or Caldwell-Pope. Most of that salary for next season is tied up in Brook Lopez ($22.6MM) and Jeremy Lin ($12MM), with eight players on the roster making between $1.12MM and $1.7MM.

A fourth-year small forward, Porter has been a starter in Washington the past two seasons. He averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 80 games this year. Although the Wizards own his Bird rights, the team is in a bind with only about $7MM in cap space and the need to re-sign Bojan Bogdanovic and rebuild a faltering bench.

Caldwell-Pope has been Detroit’s starter at shooting guard for the past three and a half seasons and averaged 13.8 points per game this year. The Pistons are about $3MM over the cap entering this summer.

Sixers Notes: Redick, Draft, Colangelo, Okafor

Clippers free agent J.J. Redick will get a lot of interest from the Eastern Conference, and the Sixers may be the leading contender, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. In a video posted on the Vertical website, several analysts offer their visions of the future for Philadelphia after winding up with the third pick in next month’s draft. Wojnarowski believes the Sixers will make a strong play for Redick, an 11-year veteran who would fill a position of need at shooting guard while bringing leadership to the locker room. Redick will probably receive offers starting at $16MM to $17MM annually, Wojnarowski predicts, and Philly’s strongest competition for him will come from the Nets, as well as the Knicks if they can clear enough cap room.

There’s more tonight out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers may try to trade down in the draft, suggests The Vertical’s Bobby Marks in the same video, because there isn’t a perfect fit for them at No. 3. They are believed to have interest in Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who could be available a few picks later. Marks says the Kings, who own picks No. 5 and No. 10, might emerge as a trading partner. He adds that Philadelphia also owns an unprotected Lakers pick next season, an unprotected Kings pick in 2019 and a pick from the Thunder in 2020 that is top-20 protected, all of which could be used as trade assets.
  • President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo was planning a “measured, organic growth path” if the Sixers came away from Tuesday’s lottery with two picks, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead, the Lakers landed in the top three and got to keep their selection for another year, which leads Colangelo to a more aggressive approach that will involve seeking veteran help through trades and free agency. “We are going to have both opportunities available to us now,” he said. “We are going to look at all those alternatives, all those options.” Pompey lists Redick, Kyle Lowry, Otto Porter, Danilo Gallinari and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as free agents the team might target.
  • Jahlil Okafor is an obvious candidate to be used as a trade chip, writes Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. The second-year center has been a poor fit in Philadelphia since being drafted in 2015. Many observers expected him to be dealt at the February deadline, but Nerlens Noel was shipped to Dallas instead. “I want to find a situation that’s great for us and great for Jahlil, and if that means him staying here then that’s great,” Colangelo said. “He’s a great kid and a great player and we’re going to see how he fits with this group.”

Central Notes: Love, Bird, Caldwell-Pope

Matchups in the first two rounds have limited Kevin Love‘s role throughout the playoffs thus far but that could change in the Eastern Conference Finals, Tom Withers of the Associated Press writes. Currently the Cavaliers await the winner of the Wizards and Celtics.

After having averaged 19 points per game during the regular season, Love’s average dropped to 12 in the Cavaliers’ four-game sweep of the Raptors. What’s more, the power forward didn’t even play in the fourth quarter in two of those victories.

Some of it’s my fault because we haven’t really featured him a lot because of the matchups we had on other teams,” Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said. “He has been great. His whole mindset is winning and that’s what it’s all about in the playoffs.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Although there’s been a transfer of power in the Pacers‘ organizational chart, Larry Bird remains involved in the offseason planning at the behest of newly appointed team president Kevin Pritchard, Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star writes. Bird serves as an executive advisor with the franchise.
  • The Pacers will work out a batch of draft prospects early next week, the team announced on its website, including college stars Jordan Bell and Josh Hart.
  • The Pistons are in a tough spot with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s pending restricted free agency, Bobby Marks of the Vertical writes. The 24-year-old could sign a lofty offer sheet with another organization, forcing the club to flirt with the luxury tax if they wish to retain him. Choosing not to retain him, however, won’t free up enough cap space for a suitable replacement.

Pistons Notes: Baynes, Caldwell-Pope, MLE, Draft

Aron Baynes probably won’t decide whether to opt out of his contract for next season until close to the June 20th deadline, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The back-up center is set to make $6.5MM next year, but has the chance to get a much larger payday on the open market. He is considered one of the top reserve big men in the league, averaging 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 72 games this season. The Pistons are limited in their offer because they only hold Early Bird Rights on Baynes. That means they can go over the cap, but can only give him a 175% raise, which would amount to about $11.3MM for next season. “He’s enjoyed himself there,” said Baynes’ agent, Entersport Management president Marc Fleisher. “He likes [Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy], he likes the organization, but he’s also got to consider the financial ramifications.”

There’s more news out of Detroit:

  • Restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has an evidentiary hearing set for May 18th in connection with his March arrest for DUI, Ellis adds in the same piece. Caldwell-Pope may face a suspension from the league if he is convicted.
  • Pistons GM Jeff Bower is considering the $8.4MM mid-level exception as a way to upgrade the roster, Ellis writes in a separate story. Detroit has made good use of the MLE in the past, signing Chauncey Billups in 2002 and Antonio McDyess in 2004, but Ellis notes that the league’s changing salary structure has made it harder to find good players at that level. He mentions Boston’s James Young and Golden State’s Ian Clark as possible targets.
  • The Pistons will face difficulty in building a contender without a high draft pick on the roster, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Detroit’s highest draftees are Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson, who went with the eighth pick in their respective drafts. Andre Drummond, who was taken ninth in 2012, and Marcus Morris, who went 14th in 2011, are the Pistons’ only other lottery picks. “We’re one of two teams that don’t have a top-seven pick anywhere on their roster,” Van Gundy said. Detroit is slotted at No. 12 heading into the May 16th lottery.

Pistons Committed To Keeping Caldwell-Pope

The Pistons plan to match any offer that restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope receives, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.

The organization is prepared to give the fourth-year shooting guard a maximum deal if that’s what it takes to keep him in Detroit, Ellis adds, with several sources saying he is an important part of the team’s future.

Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this season, but his numbers declined after the All-Star break. Ellis states that the Pistons may have viewed the situation differently if they were confident that Stanley Johnson was ready to become a starter, but they believe keeping Caldwell-Pope is vital and they wouldn’t be able to get an adequate replacement because of their cap situation.

Ellis touches on several other Pistons-related matters:

  • Trade talks involving Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson will continue this offseason. Ellis states that the organization is becoming impatient with Drummond, with coach/executive Stan Van Gundy saying in Friday’s press conference that he needs a “sense of urgency to elevate his game.” Jackson’s drop in production stemmed from left knee tendinitis that plagued him throughout the season, and Ellis claims the only available replacement who might be an upgrade is the Suns’ Eric Bledsoe.
  • The Pistons believe they have enough young players and future first-rounders to acquire a star this offseason. There were rumors that Drummond was offered to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins before he was sent to New Orleans, and a source told Ellis the Pistons contacted the Pacers about Paul George but never got close to a deal. George has another season left before he can opt out, and Detroit might be interested in taking the chance that it can re-sign him, but only if the price in a trade comes down. Other targets could include Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony.
  • Although the Pistons might benefit from a franchise-altering move, Van Gundy said smaller deals are more realistic. “There’s a couple things we’d like to do and make us a little bit better, but I don’t think we’re broken” he said. “Getting our point guard situation back to where it was or even better is more than feasible and corrects a great deal of the problems we’re talking about. Our roster is pretty good from there.”

Pistons Notes: KCP, Baynes, Drummond

The Pistons would like to bring Kentavious Caldwell-Pope back next season, but GM Jeff Bower sounds as if the organization will wait for another team to make an offer before making any commitments, Rod Beard of The Detroit News passes along.

“With the timing of things, you never know for sure until the period begins. There is a danger because we don’t have it with any certainty,” Bower said. “Hopefully, we’re able to move along with the things we have and everything is aligned. That’s a hand we have to be ready to play, no matter what direction we go. We have a lot of control in the situation, which is something we value and expect to be able to take advantage of.

Here’s more from Detroit:

  • Aron Baynes hasn’t yet made a decision on his player option for the 2017/18 campaign, which is worth $6.5MM. He’ll take his time on the decision, but staying with the Pistons remains a strong possibility, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays (Twitter links). “Being here, it kind of feels like we have some unfinished business,” Baynes said.
  • Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy must figure out if the Andre DrummondReggie Jackson pairing is the best option for the Pistons long-term, John Niyo of The Detroit News argues.Drummond has four years remaining on the max contract he signed last offseason, while Jackson has three years remaining on the five-year, $80MM deal he signed back in 2015.
  • Van Gundy feels Drummond needs to take additional steps to reach his potential, Niyo passes along in the same piece. “He needs to have a sense of urgency to elevate his game,” Van Gundy said. “He’s been in the league five years now. He’s still young, he hasn’t turned 24. The sky’s the limit for him. But he needs to do some work to get there.”

Central Notes: Caldwell-Pope, Udrih, Stephenson

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s DUI arrest this week won’t factor into the bidding when he hits free agency, writes David Mayo of MLive. Caldwell-Pope can still expect offers topping $20MM a year, as he will be among the top players on the open market. And the Pistons will still be willing to match any offer sheet that their restricted free agent presents. Coach Stan Van Gundy exhibited his forgiving nature by keeping Caldwell-Pope in the starting lineup for the first game after the incident.

The Pistons are determined not to let Caldwell-Pope leave with nothing in return, Mayo notes. They might be willing to entertain thoughts of a sign-and-trade, but the fourth-year guard would have to agree to any deal and it would have to happen before he has an offer sheet.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Veteran Pistons guard Beno Udrih wants to coach when his playing days are finished, relays Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Udrih, 34, was claimed off waivers at the start of the season because of Reggie Jackson‘s knee problems. Almost immediately, he was sharing pointers with newly appointed starter Ish Smith“He’s a very, very smart basketball guy and makes some very, very good points,” Van Gundy said of Udrih. “It’s always nice to have those guys around.”
  • Pacers players stayed after practice Saturday to welcome Lance Stephenson back to the team, according to Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star. Stephenson signed a three-year deal Thursday and will play his first game in three years in an Indiana uniform today against Cleveland. “I still think I’m dreaming right now,” Stephenson said. “I keep waiting to wake up and say, ‘Ah, it was just a dream.’ But that hasn’t happened yet and I’m happy I’m here. I just want to get back on the right path and get back to where I used to be.”
  • The return of Khris Middleton from a hamstring injury has sparked the Bucks‘ playoff push, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Milwaukee is 17-7 since February 8th in games that Middleton has played and currently holds the fifth spot in the East.
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