Former Detriot Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed a 1-year, $18 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. $18 million for one year of work is nothing to sneeze at, but Caldwell-Pope was hoping to lock down a longer-term deal in free agency, and that offer never materialized.
It’s unclear exactly how much Caldwell-Pope’s legal trouble impacted teams’ interest in free agency, but it would be hard to believe that it wasn’t some kind of factor. Just weeks before free agency began, Caldwell-Pope was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. It would come out later that Caldwell-Pope wasn’t actually operating the vehicle, and instead, Caldwell-Pope plead guilty to allowing someone else to operate his vehicle while under the influence.
Caldwell-Pope was initially sentenced to 12 months of probation. According to ESPN, however, Caldwell-Pope’s good behavior and rigorous work schedule is going to allow him to end his probation early, but there is a catch.
Caldwell-Pope’s probation will end early if he completes an intense program over the next 25 days, with one requirement of the program being his inability to leave California while it’s ongoing. Fortunately for Caldwell-Pope, he plays professional basketball in California, and one of the Lakers’ road games over the next 25 days is against the Golden State Warriors, but he’s still going to miss a few games.
“As a result of his professional basketball work schedule, the court has modified the sentence and released him from probation early so long as he completes an intensive program over the next 25 days. There will be some travel restrictions, but we are pleased that Kentavious will now continue with his NBA season and move forward in a positive manner from this experience.”
Caldwell-Pope will miss the Lakers’ two road games in Houston on December 20th and 31st, in addition to a road game against Minnesota on January 1st. Both Caldwell-Pope and the Los Angeles Lakers released statements after the news.