Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be a player to watch in the 2023 NBA Finals. Getty Images | John McCoy


  • Three former Lakers on the Nuggets roster will play in the NBA Finals
  • Caldwell-Pope will be on familiar ground in the NBA Finals
  • Bryant and Jordan have hardly made a difference but may get chances in the finals

Despite pundits initially believing that it would be a Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers' finale, the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat would have nothing of it.

One-half of the 2023 NBA Finals cast is done with the Nuggets sweeping the Lakers, 4-0, in the Western Conference Finals to advance to the last dance.

Ironically, there will be three former Lakers on the Nuggets roster once they face the winner of the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Eastern Conference finals.

As of this writing, the Heat are just one game away from making it to the finals, leading the Celtics, 3-0.

The three players are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Thomas Bryant and DeAndre Jordan.

Caldwell-Pope is the name that stands out, someone who figure prominently for the Purple and Fold when they won the NBA title in 2020 against the Heat who are on the verge of advancing to the finals.

"KCP" is best remembered for his Game 4 performance against Miami, scoring five straight points that helped the Lakers win that game.

Hence, the 30-year-old could turn out to be an asset for Nuggets coach Michael Malone because of his shooting and defense.

If the Heat formally enters the NBA Finals, Caldwell-Pope is a player to watch since he is familiar with the brand of play of the ballclub.

Bryant had his best moments with the Lakers before he was traded to the Nuggets in a four-team trade that involved the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers last February.

The 25-year-old has hardly been a shade of who he was when he was with the Lakers but could find his niche in the NBA finals if Malone puts him to use.

Lastly, there is Jordan whose career has been on the decline.

After enjoying his best years with the Los Angeles Clippers, the one-time NBA All-Star has struggled to fit in with teams he joined the past years.

He hardly factored in with the Lakers during the 2021-22 season and has hardly shown improvement the last couple of seasons.

Caldwell-Pope, Bryant and Jordan, along with the rest of the Nuggets, now await who they will face in the 2023 NBA Finals.

Thomas Bryant
Thomas Bryant has hardly been a factor for the Nuggets but could get a chance in the 2023 NBA Finals. Ethan Miller/Getty Images