Free agency is when everything is possible. No matter how small your market is, all it takes is one sensational pitch. Because we’re helpful people here at The Step Back, we’re each picking teams and penning our best offers to the free agents we think those teams should chase. Here’s what we have for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Ever hear of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid? Well, Kentavious, you’re an ideal fit next to them.
We don’t need you to be a 25 point-per-game scorer or an offensive focal point. Instead, we like you for your complementary 3-and-D potential. Unlike your current point guard, Reggie Jackson, Fultz and Simmons actually enjoy passing the ball, so they’ll hit you with open looks from beyond the arc on drive-and-kicks. Embiid, meanwhile, quickly proved that he’s deserving of double-teams, which should likewise open the door for you to get clean shots off two-way action.
Since Fultz and Simmons are tag-team running the point, we need a guard capable of locking down opposing ball-handlers while Robert Covington smothers each opponent’s top wing. Come rain in 3s, stifle opposing guards and Trust the Process with us.
Our offer: Four years, $108.5 million (max)
— Bryan Toporek (@btoporek)
Okay, Kentavious, let’s get to brass tacks here. We could start Eric Bledsoe, you and Devin Booker together in a dynamic and exciting smaller lineup. Our big men need some work, but Dragan Bender has got potential and Alex Len does good stuff sometimes.
No, we won’t win a title by simply adding you, but you’re a step in the right direction for us, and our fans will love you forever if you decide to come here. Nobody in Detroit is fun or exciting — the team doesn’t even know who their centerpiece is! We’re going to build around Devin, and you would be a perfect fit right next to him.
Alright, you know what, let’s be honest. You’ve got to sign a max offer sheet somewhere to make the Pistons match it. Sign it with us. It’s a win-win for you: either they match and you get to make a boatload of money there, or they don’t and you get to move to Arizona and make a boatload here. Did we mention Devin Booker already?
Our Offer: Four years, max money.
— Ti Windisch (@TiWindisch)
Hey, Ken. I don’t know if you heard but Paul George is on his way out and we’re changing everything in Indiana. He keeps flapping his gums about the Lakers so we’re not exactly going to get a great deal for him, but at least a pick and a good young player. From there, we can actually start building the team we want to be — stretchiness everywhere, defense everywhere, uptempo all the time.
We’ve already said our goodbyes to C.J. Miles and Jeff Teague. Don’t tell Thad Young, Al Jefferson and Monta Ellis, but we’re shopping them around too. It’s going to be you, and Myles Turner, and the wingspanniest 3-and-D guys we can find in the draft.
We’re not offering glory. Just a chance to come be part of something fun.
Our Offer: Four years, max money.
— Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh)
(Our general manager enters the room and slams the door behind him.)
Alright, Kent—can I call you Kent? I’m calling you Kent.
Kent, let’s get serious.
I know you’ve got the Suns and Sixers coming after you, I know the Pistons may want to keep you. The Pistons want more from you. The Sixers will need you to space the floor for them. The Suns, well, what, you’re going to hitch your wagon to Devin Booker? Miami is the place for you, and not just because you get to return to Southeast where you were born and raised, but because we don’t need you.
We want you.
Look, Kent, we’ve got Goran to run the offense. We’ve got Whiteside to protect the rim. We’ve got Justise as our perimeter defender. We want you to fill in the cracks and raise our ceiling. You’re young, you’re talented and we can make you better. Look at what we did for Dion Waiters and James Johnson. The Suns, Pistons and Sixers can’t do that for you. You want to be an All-Star? We can do that for you here in Miami. We can’t offer you the max, though, because we want to build a winning team around you.
Our offer: Four years, $80 million.
— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg)