The Detroit Pistons will reportedly match any offer Kentavious Caldwell-Pope receives in restricted free agency this off-season, even if it is a maximum contract offer, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
One of Ellis’ sources within the Pistons organization told Ellis that the team can’t afford to lose the 24-year-old Caldwell-Pope, who averaged 13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game on 39% shooting from the field and 35% from three-point range, a career-high from that territory that saw him splash home 153 total threes.
While normally Caldwell Pope’s numbers aren’t maximum contract-level numbers, teams that are in need of young and upcoming talent could’ve thrown a ton of money Caldwell Pope’s way to try to lure him away from Stan Van Gundy. The Brooklyn Nets were expected to be the team most interested in trying to use the offer sheet to pull him away from Detroit, but it appears they will have to direct their interest to impending Wizards restricted free agent Otto Porter Jr.
Last off-season, Brooklyn was the most aggressive team in the restricted free agent market, even though they didn’t sign one single free agent that had the qualifying offer attached to him. The Nets offered both Miami’s Tyler Johnson and Portland’s Allen Crabbe contracts, but both teams matched them, with Miami’s decision to match Johnson being the most surprising.
Overall speaking, the 2016-2017 season was one to forget for the Pistons after making the playoffs in 2015-2016, but bringing Caldwell-Pope back with a fully healthy Reggie Jackson around center Andre Drummond may be the Pistons best bet before completely blowing the team up. Stanley Johnson may also be more comfortable entering his 3rd season in the NBA next season.
For his career, Caldwell-Pope is averaging 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.
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