Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may soon be available on the trade market and the Spurs could be a good fit for the veteran guard. This one one of the San Antonio Spurs rumors worth looking into.
With a key date in the NBA calendar on the horizon, the San Antonio Spurs rumors will be starting to heat up regarding the trade market.
December 15th is the first day that players who signed a new contract this offseason are allowed to be traded, and there are plenty of notable names involved in that group of players.
We’ve recently discussed one of those names in Trevor Ariza, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is another player who’s had trade rumors surrounding him recently.
KCP doesn’t seem to be in the Lakers’ plans for the future, and many playoff contenders could use a player with his type of skillset.
Are the Spurs a good fit for Caldwell-Pope and do they have the right assets to get a deal done?
Next: Spurs trade assets
Spurs trade assets
Unfortunately, Pau’s foot injury makes it extremely difficult to trade him as teams don’t know when he’ll be able to contribute again and whether he can come back truly healthy as a 38-year-old big man.
Patty Mills is the player most likely to be moved if the Spurs make an in-season trade.
Mills signed a four-year extension worth $49.7 million back in 2017, and his salary of just under $11.6 million per year is almost an exact match with Caldwell-Pope’s salary of $12 million.
San Antonio will also likely have two first round picks in this year’s draft, and they have a stash of second round picks to sweeten a deal as well.
Next: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's potential fit in San Antonio
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s potential fit in San Antonio
Adding a three-and-D shooting guard like Caldwell-Pope could immediately improve San Antonio’s guard depth, and he would likely be a starter.
KCP is a career 34.5% three-point shooter, but he was forced to take some difficult shots from deep during his early days in Detroit.
His three-point shot is pretty versatile as he’s capable of hitting tough shots on the move.
Adding a guard like Caldwell-Pope should open up space for DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to do some damage, and his spot-up shooting skills could give them plenty of assist opportunities when they get double-teamed.
He also fits in well on the defensive end, and I’ll explain that further in the next slide.
Next: Is KCP an upgrade over Patty Mills?
Is KCP an upgrade over Patty Mills?
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The most realistic trade scenario for the Spurs is sending Patty Mills and possibly a second round pick to L.A. for Caldwell-Pope.
San Antonio would likely only get KCP for one year before he hits free agency, but he could give this current team more than Patty can for a playoff push.
Mills has been a superior three-point shooter over their respective careers, but Caldwell-Pope is a major upgrade on the defensive end.
Patty currently ranks 81st out of 93 qualifying point guards in defensive real-plus minus, and he’s a major reason why the Spurs currently rank 25th in defensive rating (they were 29th before a home victory over the hapless Suns).
KCP is performing 0.48 points better in defensive real plus-minus this season, which is a fairly significant jump, and he provides much more defensive versatility at 6-foot 5-inches tall.
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It’s questionable whether the Lakers would want to take on the final three years of Mills’ deal, so the Spurs may have to give up some draft capital or a veteran player to get a deal done.
The addition of Caldwell-Pope would increase the Spurs’ chances of making the playoffs this season if they’re willing to give up Patty, a cheap rotational veteran (Dante Cunningham or Quincy Pondexter), and a future second round pick or two.