Entering the final season of his rookie deal, it seems both the Detroit Pistons and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are in no rush to get a contract extension negotiation going and sealed, holding off the talks for next summer.
This is something both sides want. The Pistons and especially Stan Van Gundy are fans of Caldwell-Pope and would like to see him on the team beyond next season, but price is obviously something worth discussing. They may decide that Stanley Johnson, who played a lot of shooting guard last season, is their answer in the ‘2’ instead of Caldwell-Pope, who didn’t increase his scoring per minute last season, while his long range shooting has been slightly disappointing (32.7% in three seasons) since being drafted from Georgia, where he shot 37.3% from three in his sophomore and final year.
And there’s the Caldwell-Pope angle, which makes sense. More mintues or not, he did score 14.5 points per game last season, with a career high 42% from the field and 81.1% from the line, his true shooting at a career high as well of 52.1%. He and his reps are working based on the premise that he can get more money by waiting for the 2017 summer and his free agency (restricted) than anything the Pistons are going to offer him right now.
Caldwell-Pope fits in nicely with the way the Pistons have been shaping up under Van Gundy, and the teams was actually 8.5 points better per 100 possessions with him on the floor as opposed to his time off of it. But this summer has probably blinded some players with assumptions of how much they can make and their true value. Caldwell-Pope needs a big season, and establish himself as a shooting guard for the next four-five years in Detroit if he’s going to get the kind of money he’s probably thinking of. The Pistons offense doesn’t lean too much on him, but for a player who is on the floor almost 37 minutes a night, being a bit more efficient wouldn’t hurt, especially with someone pushing to win his spot.