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Report: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to decline option, become free agent

The 2020 NBA champion will seek a bigger deal via free agency after helping the Lakers win the title this past season.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dribbles as Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson pursues during the first quarter in game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has declined his player option for the 2020-21 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported early Monday morning. Caldwell-Pope was set to make $8.4 million with the option this season. Instead, he will enter the open market, where he’s expected to have several suitors, per Shams. KCP was an invaluable piece in the Lakers’ championship run, providing defense and 3-point shooting in the starting lineup.

It was always going to be tough for the Lakers to retain Caldwell-Pope after his performance in the postseason. Aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, KCP was probably the Lakers’ best player on a consistent basis during the run. He averaged 10.7 points on 37.8 percent shooting from outside in 21 playoff games en route to the ring. Charania also mentions that while KCP is entering UFA, he may not necessarily leave the Lakers. He’s open to listening to offers, which again, could be much more than the $8.4 million he was set to make.