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Report: Pistons renouncing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who becomes unrestricted free agent

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 27: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 of the Detroit Pistons reacts after a basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 27, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading andor using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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The Pistons’ trade for Avery Bradley signaled Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s end in Detroit.

The biggest question was how it would happen.

It seems the Pistons are making it easy for him.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Caldwell-Pope becomes the best unrestricted free agent on the market. There are probably some teams that regret signing other players before he became so available. The Nets will have competition for him, and a six-day wait on the Wizards matching Otto Porter could hurt Brooklyn’s chances.

Just 24, Caldwell-Pope should provide plenty of production throughout his next contract. He’s a 3-and-D shooting guard who’s excellent in transition. He can defend point guards, important in a league with so many talented ones. Caldwell-Pope is lacking off the bounce and as a distributor, but smart teams will work around his limitations and extract value from his strengths.

This is a major risk for the Pistons, who are choosing 26-year-old Bradley one year from unrestricted free agency over locking up 24-year-old Caldwell-Pope long-term. Bradley is better and cheaper (important considering luxury-tax concerns) than Caldwell-Pope right now, but Bradley could also walk – or become paid even more than Caldwell-Pope – in just a year.

First-round pick Luke Kennard hedges Detroit’s bet long-term, and newly signed Langston Galloway adds depth as a combo guard. Stanley Johnson can also play some shooting guard, though he’s better at forward.

But the Pistons just kicked their problems down the road another year, when another financial crunch looms. Maybe those issues will be easier for Detroit to handle if its players rehab their trade values next season. Everyone’s had bottomed out after last year’s disappointment. And again: Bradley improves the Pistons this season.

Still, other teams will salivate at an unexpected chance to add Caldwell-Pope.