Before the Trade Deadline: Jose Manuel Calderon

As the trade deadline approaches, it’s important to take a look at some of the so-called tradeable assets on this Raptors team. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a player, looking at the current and future possibilities, and of course salary situations.

Salary: $2.5 million expires this year. Restricted Free Agent

Strengths: Perhaps the most consistent point guard in the league who doesn’t do much of anything flashy. Highest assist-to-turnover ratio in the league. He also has a surprisingly consistent shooting percentage from beyond the arc to within the arc. Plays the screen and roll extremely effectively and is not afraid to make a pass that leads to a pass. Ability to score off the dribble if he can get a lane to the basket. Very high free throw shooting percentage.

Weaknesses: Has yet to show the ability to completely take over a game from his passing to his shooting. Defensively, he is consistently out muscled by many point guards, or gets beaten off the bounce, making him a very system-based defender. Not great at stealing the ball, and has some jitters still in clutch situations (i.e. turnovers and missed free throws).

Comments: Trade Calderon at the beginning of the year? Well, it was first suggested at the end of last year that the Raptors may have to part with Calderon in order to get a slashing guard/forward that was sorely needed on this team. The Raptors still don’t have that slasher yet, but Calderon has proven to be a great insurance policy ever since Ford went down.

I made the suggestion it might be silly to trade Calderon during this year for several reasons. For one thing, if Calderon were to regress, it was entirely possible that the Raptors could sign him for less money than they might have thought. However, if the plays out of his mind, then the Raptors still have an ability to match any team’s offer with their own. At the end of the day, it’s looking like the Raptors will have to sign him if only for the fact that it looks like Ford’s career longevity is a large question mark.

That being said, Calderon is a guy that is going to have to keep developing his game, especially defensively. He has shown that he might be a liability on defense, which is a problem that will have to be resolved in the future. If he can at least cut down on the guards posting up on him, it’ll help his team reduce the need to double team his man, and take care of one of the problems that have plagued him recently. In addition, he still doesn’t have the endurance at this stage of his career to go beyond 40 minutes or so on a consistent basis. So that means he’s going to need some kind of backup if he indeed is turned into the number one point guard on this team. All of that leads to the fact that it seems that Colangelo recognizes the value of my most favourite player on the Raptors squad, which along with the Ford situation guarantees that Jose Calderon will be a Raptor for a long time.

Verdict: Off the block due to his unique abilities as a point guard and the uncertainty of TJ Ford’s future.

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11 thoughts on “Before the Trade Deadline: Jose Manuel Calderon

  1. The only dangerous thing that will hurt us financially about Calderon is that if his Restricted Free Agent contract in the offseason will make teams OVERBID for him by the bastardly teams (AKA Dallas, NYKnicks, Nets, Cleveland, Miami, well everyone..but Portland I don’t hate). Say he is offered $8-9 million a year , what can BCo do without jeopardizing our salary cap and trying to keep our key man who runs our system? Offseason is a long way though, but consider this scenario and I can name 6 teams who needs Calderon’s services (ATL, CLE, Dallas, SA [Mr. Longoria and Calderon will be invincible duo], MIAMI, Portland [with tons of CapRoom!]). This is without considering that some of these teams are very capped-up already.

  2. There are two things that you have to remember… First, he has a choice to go for that other contract or not. I can tell you that in Atlanta, Portland and possibly Miami, he really wouldn’t find much satisfaction. His family is pretty happy here, and he’s pretty happy here, and that counts a lot towards it. The Raptors are not a bottom feeder team remember, so we shouldn’t have an inferiority complex about this sort of thing.

    The other thing to remember is that this free agent season has quite a few “high profile” players coming out into free agency. I’m just not sure teams consider Calderon to be a near-max kind of player. Most point guards don’t get more than $8 million, and if the Raptors can sign him for around that amount, I think they’ll make the deal. It’s just too important not to have at least one healthy PG, and with Ford’s condition making him largely an unknown, it means Colangelo will probably be willing to pay more for Calderon’s services than usual.

    Portland is an interesting opportunity, but I’m not sure they require his services.

  3. THx… that’s good that Calderon has the choice. The Raptors fooled us at half time with the 51-50 score. Bosh actually took us out of the ball game when we tried a “comeback” attempt LOL

  4. Yeah. I mean, he’s always got a choice. His agent can’t and hopefully won’t, just sign the first contract that comes by him without Jose’s input.

    Yeah, well… It was to be expected.

  5. There are tons of teams that could use calderon at the point as he has shown that he is 1 of the top guards in the league. We should not trade, and colangelo will not trade calderon. He will resign in the range of around 6 – 8 mil a season. What we need to do is go after a nice free agent as this year the talent pool is amazing. Kidd , Marion , Arenas , Josh Smith , GIlbert, Al Jefferson, Tim Duncan….. just to name a few.

  6. Raptors must sign Calderon and Delfino which will use up any money to the Luxury Cap limit. Any other changes will come from trades. There is no cap/lux room till 2009.

  7. Brendan – There’s just not enough room under the cap. Unless the Raptors make big moves to get rid of pieces to free up the space, there’s just no way for them to get a hold of those players. Heck, Biedrins is now playing himself out of a possible signing with the Raptors.

    Johnn – I’m not sure Delfino will be back. I’ll get into the reasons once I get to covering him.

  8. We are Able to offer Calderon a decent contract. Others players such as dixon , delfino , rasho may not get resigned or take a hit when it comes to resigning. Brian C loves his non us talent so i cant see him letting go calderon. It would be nice if we made a move for someone with a big expiring contract like marbury to free up some cap space.

    I have faith In our gm to do what is the right for the team.

  9. I jus went over the salaries for next year for some of the players and just take a look

    rasho – 8.4 mil
    tj – 8 mil
    garbo – 4.25 mil
    humphries – 3.5 mil

    i think that a couple of these players will be out of toronto soon to free up space if its not this year, but the next. 2009 we are under the cap by about 15 mil with bosh , ford , kapono and andrea all signed. There will be some moves to be made.

  10. Rasho – Player Option for the final year is going to happen. He’s not going to give up the money to be a starter.

    TJ – no one will take his contract especially with the risk involved.

    I’ll get to the other guys. This is just part two of many.

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