ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote last week that the Nets are expected to be “major players” this summer for restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This week, Brian Lewis of The New York Post confirms Brooklyn’s interest in the Pistons sharpshooter, writing that the Nets will likely make KCP a “top priority” in the offseason.
“I’m impressed,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said of Caldwell-Pope. “I love how he competes, how he competes on the defensive end. That’s really the essence of what I see when I watch him play. He plays with force, he competes on the defensive end.”
It remains to be seen if the Pistons will be open to a maximum-salary contract for Caldwell-Pope, but that may be what it takes to retain him. With KCP’s Bird rights in hand, Detroit can offer more years and more money than any other team and will have the chance to match any offer. Still, it sounds like the Nets will put plenty of pressure on the Pistons, dipping back into the restricted free agent market after striking out last summer on Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson.
Here’s more out of New York:
- Former first-round pick Archie Goodwin, who is on a 10-day contract with the Nets, tells NetsDaily that he hopes to stick around in Brooklyn for much longer than those 10 days.
- Carmelo Anthony said on Tuesday that Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek informed the team that he plans to start reducing minutes for some veteran players down the stretch. As Newsday’s Al Iannazzone details, the Knicks want to assess some of their younger players to determine whether or not they have a future with the club.
- Former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher appeared on The Vertical’s podcast this week and spoke to Adrian Wojnarowski about what led to the end of his time in New York. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News has some of the quotes from Fisher, who admits that his fight with Matt Barnes hurt his standing with the Knicks and talks about the tension created by the triangle offense.
- Speaking of the triangle, TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal defended his former head coach Phil Jackson, suggesting that the Knicks players are to blame for the system’s ineffectiveness in New York. Marc Berman of The New York Post has the details.