Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could be a player to watch at the trade deadline. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

As the Knicks consider their options at the trade deadline and look ahead to the summer, the front office is prioritizing the addition of an athletic wing, sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. According to Bondy, one player on the team’s radar is Lakers swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The idea of trading for Caldwell-Pope and his $17.75MM cap hit probably isn’t practical for the Knicks, since KCP will be an unrestricted free agent in a few months. The club is more likely to target the fifth-year wing in free agency this offseason, Bondy writes.

As Bondy points out, the recent jail sentence Caldwell-Pope served for violating probation will be a red flag for the Knicks and other potential suitors. However, if New York’s front office does its homework on KCP and is confident that off-court issues won’t be an ongoing problem, the club could have the opportunity to land the UFA-to-be at a discounted rate, given that legal history.

Caldwell-Pope, who will turn 25 next month, failed to land a lucrative long-term deal during the 2017 offseason and settled for a one-year contract with the Lakers. He has played fairly well in L.A., posting career-best rates in a few categories, including 3PT% (.357). However, given the lack of teams projected to have real cap room in 2018, it remains to be seen whether KCP will have better luck securing a big payday this time around.

While the Knicks could create a chunk of cap space this summer, player options for Enes Kanter, Ron Baker, and Kyle O’Quinn complicate that equation — if all three players pick up their options, New York’s cap room would all but disappear. As for the Lakers, they’ll have plenty of flexibility to re-sign Caldwell-Pope if they so choose, but they figure to focus on higher-profile targets when free agency opens in July.

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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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