When the Detroit Pistons decided to renounce their rights to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, removing his restricted status and dropping him on the open market several days after most teams had already spent most of their money in the 2017 free agency period, it seemed like a lucky break for the Los Angeles Lakers’ laps. A team flush with cap space in desperate need of a defensive-minded shooting guard, but unwilling to commit long-term money with its sights set on luring bigger fish next summer, suddenly found itself staring at a 24-year-old stopper who preferred a short-term pact that would allow him to hit the market again next summer in search of a richer payday.
A one-year, $18 million deal seemed like a match made in heaven. Or, at least, it certainly appears it seemed that way to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.
During a Tuesday press conference to introduce the new signing, Pelinka — a longtime player agent who ascended to the Lakers’ GM job after Magic Johnson took the franchise’s reins as L.A.’s president of basketball operations just before February’s trade deadline — decided to begin, “as I often do, with a story.”
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka compared Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's arrival to a bible verse where bread came down from heaven. pic.twitter.com/H3YWuhm2Pk
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) July 18, 2017
“I would venture to guess there’s people in the room that are familiar with the stories in the Book of Genesis,” Pelinka said. “Where there was a time when the Israelites were wandering in the desert and, all of a sudden, bread came down from heaven. That’s kind of what today feels like for us, to have KCP join.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Dan, I am not a theologian or Bible scholar. But isn’t it a little weird to compare a 40 percent career shooter and 33 percent career 3-point shooter whose career highlight to date has been being maybe the third-best player on a .500 Pistons team to food sent directly by God to His hungry people?” To which I would say: hey, if Darko Milicic can be manna from heaven, why can’t Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? Though, y’know, Pelinka’s probably hoping this signing and comparison works out for him juuuuuust a bit better than the Darko thing panned out for David Kahn.
(And hey, for what it’s worth: don’t sweat the “not a theologian or Bible scholar” thing. Neither’s Pelinka. If he was, he’d probably know that story’s from Exodus, not Genesis. But who among us hasn’t made an Old Testament mix-up in the heat of the moment, right?)
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