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Lakers rumors: Team signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope because he shares same agent as LeBron James

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers did some of their best work this offseason, not only clearing the way for No. 2 overall selection Lonzo Ball to get the keys to the starting point guard spot, but also netting key free agents to knock shots down like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The former Detroit Pistons shooting guard received a one-year balloon deal for $18 million, but this contract was a lot more than netting the services of one of the best up-and-coming three-and-D talents in the league.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the deal also provided an opportunity to create a relationship between his agent — Rich Paul, the same agent as LeBron James — and the organization.

“Multiple league sources suggested to ESPN that a major motivating factor in the Lakers’ signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million deal this offseason was because Caldwell-Pope is repped by Rich Paul, the same agent as James,” wrote McMenamin.

If McMenamin’s theory is correct, building that bridge would be worth the whopping $18 million spent on a one-year rental for a player that has failed to reach 15 points per game through his first four seasons in the league.

Giving the Georgia standout such a generous contract (and therefore Paul an even bigger cut) could be a nice appetizer if the Lakers’ brass is hopeful to land a coalition of stars, with James being the possible centerpiece of the next superteam.

This action would not be an infraction of the league’s anti-tampering rules, but rather a cordial way to open the channels between agent and team, potentially creating a relationship that can link more of Paul’s future clients to the City of Angels.

James is set to be a free agent at the end of this upcoming season, failing to commit long-term to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.