NBA free agency

Sixers reportedly see Caldwell-Pope as a potential option in free agency 

The veteran wing has a $15.4 million player option with the Nuggets.

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Common sense suggested Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be on the Sixers’ radar this offseason.

Indeed, multiple reports in recent days have linked the Sixers to the 31-year-old, two-time champion wing. 

Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer wrote Friday that Caldwell-Pope “would seem, at present, to be the veteran in line to benefit from the Magic’s cap space. Caldwell-Pope is also believed to have a potential home in Chicago, should the Bulls ultimately lose out on (Patrick) Williams, in addition to Philadelphia viewing the veteran wing as a backup option.” 

On Sunday, Marc Stein reported via his Substack that “Philadelphia and Orlando are weighing runs at Caldwell-Pope with their cap space if, as increasingly expected, he declines his $15.4 million player option with the Nuggets to enter free agency and field richer offers.” And HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported Monday that “another backup contingency free agency plan” for the Sixers “is the possibility of giving Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a similar two-year deal to Bruce Brown with a higher first-year salary and team option in the second year.”

The deal Brown signed with the Pacers in the 2023 offseason had a $22 million salary last year and a $23 million club option for 2024-25. Indiana shipped out Brown as part of its midseason trade for Pascal Siakam.

In a scenario where the Sixers don’t land a star this summer, Caldwell-Pope would be a logical player to sign to such a contract.

He easily slots into any starting lineup, defends all sorts of perimeter stars, and knocks down three-point shots — 41.5 percent from long range over his last two seasons in Denver. And a Brown-esque, $20-plus million salary isn’t bad to have for a team always open to acquiring big-money players down the line while building around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

Soon enough, all the plans and backup plans will shift into action. This year's two-day NBA draft will begin Wednesday night, all player option decisions are due by Saturday, and free agency negotiations will fully open Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

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