Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly reached a tentative agreement to send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Jabari Parker ahead of the trade deadline, but KCP never approved the deal.
On Tuesday, Bill Oram of The Athletic reported the Bulls waited three days from Jan. 25 through Jan. 28 but decided to move on after Caldwell-Pope didn’t provide an answer and the Lakers switched their main focus to the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis.
Parker was ultimately traded to the Washington Wizards along with Bobby Portis and a future second-round pick in a deal that sent Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago.
The Lakers’ season, which started with promise but faded as James missed five weeks of action with a groin injury suffered in a Christmas Day clash with the Golden State Warriors, collapsed down the stretch after the team failed to make any major additions before the trade deadline.
L.A. only managed to acquire Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala, neither of whom represented the type of game-changing player the team needed for a late-season resurgence.
Whether Parker, who averaged 15 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 52.3 percent from the field across 25 appearances for the Wizards, could have made a significant difference is a mystery.
Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope finished the regular season with the Lakers and can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason for the third straight year.
After L.A. was eliminated from postseason contention, he discussed the chance for players to prove themselves despite the disappointing situation.
“It’s an opportunity for everybody,” he told reporters in March. “Unfortunately, we’re not in the playoffs. I wish we were, but I mean these minutes and the games that we have left is a real opportunity for everybody to go out there and just show what you got and just continue to be consistent and get better.”
KCP, who averaged 11.2 points during the 2018-19 campaign, has never been a major offensive threat in the NBA. That said, he ranks 22nd among guards in Defensive Win Shares during his six-year career, according to Basketball Reference.
With the Lakers entering the summer in search of more high-end star power to pair with James, it would be a surprise if Caldwell-Pope is back on the team’s roster at the start of next season.