By Markel Smith
Jul. 31, 2016

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at a crossroads in his young career, but Pistons fans should be ready for his big leap in 2016-2017.

Three years ago was Joe Dumars last season as the Pistons General Manager and President Of Basketball Operations. Most Pistons fans remember that he made mistakes like having Laurence Frank and John Kuester as head coaches and trading Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson. With all the mistakes Dumars made something came out good. In the 2013 NBA draft, he drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of Georgia with 8th overall pick. Good thing for the Pistons and it’s fans is that he left them a hidden gem.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, known as the KCP to Pistons fans, came into the league and started at shooting guard right away. In his first season Caldwell-Pope averaged 5.9 points while only taking 5.8 shots per game. But his downfall that season was his 3 point percentage which was 31.9%. The good thing is that he showed the fans that he was good defender. A lot of fans was still on the edge because they wanted the team to draft former Michigan guard Trey Burke instead.

In his second season he improved in every single category. He averaged 12.7 Points and improved his 3 point percentage to 34.9% ,which is an improvement from his rookie season. He game increased when Josh Smith was released in mid-season. The backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Caldwell Pope was playing at high level until Jennings had a season ending achillies. His averages per 36 minutes was 14.5 points and was shooting 35% from the three.

Last season, he numbers improved again. He averaged 14.5 Points and 1.4 steals per game. Because of his solid play, it lead to him leading the team and finishing in the top 3 in minutes played in the whole league. The only downfall was his 3 point percentage which went down to 30.9%, the worst of his career. In the playoffs, he averaged 15.3 Points and increased his 3pt percentage to 44%. To a lot of Pistons fans this was his coming out party.

If Caldwell-Pope can average around 18 points per game and shoot at least 39% from the three point line, he could become one of the top two way players in the league. He is already a big shot maker in the clutch, Pistons fans should expect Caldwell-Pope to have a breakout year this upcoming season.

Caldwell-Pope top six defensive performances

1.Russell Westbrook 8-28 3 turnovers 28%

2.James Harden 10-36 27%

3.Isaiah Thomas 7-21 33%

4.Dwayne Wade 13-33 39%

5.Jimmy Butler 11-27 40%

6.Russell Westbrook 5-14 11 turnovers 40%