Los Angeles Lakers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope proving critics wrong

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

When the Los Angeles Lakers re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, many people were unhappy. But, he has proven his critics wrong with his play.

For a few years, Los Angeles Lakers wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been criticized. The wing has been a target for critics, not because he is a bad player but because he is inconsistent.

One day he looks terrific and goes for 20 points the next night he is nowhere to be found with a five-point performance.

Going into this season, Caldwell-Pope had earned $30 million in two seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 12.5 points on 36 percent shooting from deep. Caldwell-Pope is not just a solid shooter but he is considered a solid defender. The guard also does a good job of not making mistakes as he averages just one turnover a game.

Despite the positives Caldwell-Pope brought to the table, Lakers fans cringed when he was signed to a two-year deal worth about $16 million. All of a sudden this looks like a bargain for a number of reasons.

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Through 63 games he has been arguably the Lakers’ best shooter. He is shooting 39 percent from three-point range while shooting an efficient 47 percent overall.

Early on there were concerns about him as he began the season averaging 5.2 points over the first five games of the season. It even got to the point where LeBron James and teammates were asked about the guard’s confidence.

Since then Caldwell-Pope has been one of the more effective players on the team and has provided a spark off the bench most nights. He is also a valuable defender who can defend both guard spots.

One thing that goes unnoticed is that Caldwell-Pope is durable. He hasn’t missed a game over the last seasons. That’s something that should be appreciated considering all the load management and injuries that happen in the league.

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While it’s unclear when the league will return due to the coronavirus concerns, the one thing that looks clear is that retaining Caldwell-Pope was the smart choice.