NBA Free Agency rumors: Lakers sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

After striking out early on in free agency, the Lakers finally made a move late Monday night.

The move comes one day after the team agreed to sign shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one year, 18 million dollar contract.

Yes, $18 million is a ton of money for a guy with only decent numbers, but Caldwell-Pope is clearly player on the rise, and the contract preserves the Lakers' cap space for next offseason.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was a restricted free agent when free agency started, now sits atop of the board as an unrestricted free agent since the Pistons renounced his rights after trading for Avery Bradley.

Rondo would add another intriguing dynamic to the team by providing them with a proven point guard that can help mentor Ball and give more stability to the backcourt.

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Caldwell-Pope has made significant strides as a lockdown defender in the past few seasons, and he has continued to work on his offensive game. The Lakers roster now sits at 14 players. He averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 314 career contests since being selected by the Pistons with the eighth overall pick of the 2013 draft.

The Lakers also met with Rajon Rondo Tuesday. A team of Ball, Caldwell-Pope, LeBron/George, Randle and Lopez. It's a risk, as with any gamble, because next year's market looks to be even tighter than this market was, which was already significantly less player-friendly than last year's. A one-year deal would be flawless for the Lakers, but he'd also be a great backup option for a longer-term deal if the team can't add a big name free agent or two next summer.

This deal checks all the needs the Lakers were looking for, and able to do so without risking more than one year's cap space.

The deal is a beneficial one for both sides.

National Basketball Association players will nearly always gamble on themselves given the opportunity, and given KCP's youth (just 24), the role he so ably fills as a 3-and-D player and the potential he has to take another big leap forward, it's hard to fault his reasoning.