After losing out on Otto Porter, the Brooklyn Nets had their eyes set on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Los Angeles Lakers have beat them to the punch.
At the start of the summer, two targets were clear cut and pursued by the Nets. Both were originally restricted free agents. Then, the Wizards matched their offer on Porter, and the Pistons renounced the rights to Caldwell-Pope.
Brooklyn has absorbed both the salaries of big man Timofey Mozgov ($15.3 million) and DeMarre Carroll ($14.8 million) in trades beneficial to the future of the team.
Nonetheless, the Nets still have nearly $16.5 million remaining in salary cap and have the second-most among teams who were left in pursuit of the shooting guard.
When asked about remaining off-season tactics, general manager Sean Marks didn’t mention anyone by name, but told this to Brian Lewis with the New York Post:
“What we’re going to do is we’re evaluating all possible scenarios. So, for us, if the right deal comes along — and I hate to be vague — but if the right deal comes along that uses all of our cap space, we could jump at it.”
Brooklyn was waiting for Porter to complete his physical for Washington, which they will follow by finalizing their trade with the Raptors.
Once finalized, they would have resumed taking part in the Caldwell-Pope sweepstakes. Their main competition, the Los Angeles Lakers, beat them to the punch. Brian Windhorst of ESPN was first with the report:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
Yes, the Lakers were capable of offering more than the Nets, but with Los Angeles, he’s back on the market next year.
It may prove a blessing in disguise the Nets didn’t sign him, as they’d just traded for young guard D’Angelo Russell. Adding another guard into the mix of starting caliber may make for more of a mess than solution.
With $16.5 million in cap space, the Brooklyn Nets summer is far from over, and Caldwell-Pope could be back in play for Brooklyn as early as next summer.