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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could sign with Hawks?

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope stepped up for the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA title run, but keeping him this offseason may not be a sure thing.

John Hollinger of The Athletic reported Tuesday on the veteran swingman’s future. Hollinger noted that, while Caldwell-Pope’s most likely scenario is a return to the Lakers, the Atlanta Hawks do lurk as a potential option as well. Caldwell-Pope was born in Thomaston, Ga. (less than 75 miles from Atlanta) and attended college at the University of Georgia. The Hawks also have significant cap room and a need for a 3-and-D wing.

Caldwell-Pope, 27, started for the Lakers throughout the playoffs but is not a must-retain. His increased role was a result of Avery Bradley, who holds a player option for next season that he can pick up, deciding not to play in the Orlando bubble. Caldwell-Pope does have a player option of his own too. But he might be a better fit with the Hawks, who need a big, defensive-minded wing to pair with Trae Young in the backcourt.

The Lakers do hold Caldwell-Pope’s Bird rights, meaning that they can go over the salary cap to re-sign him. Still, they have some tough decisions coming up with some of their other free agents this offseason as well.

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