Instead, they renounced him and let him hit unrestricted free agency.
Obviously, Detroit drafting Luke Kennard, signing Langston Galloway then – most importantly – trading for Avery Bradley influenced the reversal on Caldwell-Pope. Whether because of Caldwell-Pope’s demands or their fondness for the players they acquired or both, the Pistons are at least set now at shooting guard.
But Caldwell-Pope is suddenly the best unrestricted free agent available late in the process, and he has no clear future. What’s his market like?
The Pistons’ offer at least informs our understanding.
Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated:
Caldwell-Pope’s max is $106,524,975 over four years. That’s obviously quite a gap.
He’s not worth the max based on previous production, but Caldwell-Pope is very good – a high-end perimeter defender, good 3-point shooter and excellent transition threat – and just 24. Whomever signs him will get an immediate contributor who can get better.
But there are limited apparent suitors with him becoming unrestricted so late in the process. One possibility, the Nets, used a bunch of cap space to extract draft picks in the DeMarre Carroll salary dump even after knowing Caldwell-Pope had been renounced. Could the Hawks sign him? Would he take a one-year deal with the Lakers? Will another team clear cap space to get in the running?
I believe Caldwell-Pope would have gotten a better offer than Detroit’s if he were unrestricted earlier in free agency. But by now, so many teams have used their cap space. It’s much trickier for him at this point.