Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is thriving with the Denver Nuggets
This is not as recent of a breakup as the other two so it might not be as painful for Lakers fans. That being said, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s departure from the Lakers was the worst breakup of all.
The Lakers shipped KCP off along with Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook. We all know how that went, as that trade tanked an entire season and a half in Los Angeles.
KCP didn’t do much in Washington aside from playing solid basketball on a team that nobody outside of the Nation’s Capital cared about. That all changed in the 2022 summer when KCP was traded to the Denver Nuggets. KCP would become a very important member of a Nuggets team that would go on to win the NBA Finals.
While he may not be a star, KCP played great in the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers and reminded his former team that role players like him can make the difference in a playoff series. His success didn’t stop there, though, as he has been great in his role this season.
KCP is doing exactly what the Nuggets need him to do. He is playing above-average perimeter defense (1.7 steals per game) and is knocking down his shots (45% from beyond the arc). Only 12 players in the NBA have a better three-point percentage than KCP with at least 40 attempts so far this season. He is the only player in the NBA to shoot 45% from three and average at least 1.5 steals per game.