Jose Calderon (8). Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Jose Calderon: What's he worth on the open market?

Even if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t wager a whole lot on Jose wearing Raptor red past the February trade deadline. Several commentators have suggested he may be gone long before that, a view which gains credence when we read that BC has told Jose he’s a trade candidate. I detest trying to understand the NBA’s Byzantine trade rules, but doing so is a necessary evil for purposes of this article. Let’s start by postulating what is optimal for the Raps. To me, that’s easy: a guard who can play today, and a draft pick. (Remember we’re giving up our first-round pick to Houston to complete the Lowry trade. While I’m happy with paying that price, I’d like to backfill.) But which teams are plausible takers for the much-loved Spaniard?

[20-second timeout: When Harry Truman was U.S. President, he once cried out in despair during a dizzying budget meeting "Can't someone find me a one-armed economist? I'm sick of hearing "...on the other hand."" That's how I feel when I delve into NBA trade rules. No wonder every team needs a capologist.]

The Lakers have serious championship aspirations & would love a pass-first, low turnover PG like Jose to back up Captain Canada. The Lakers are wealthier than your average oil sheik, and won’t mind paying the luxury tax on Jose’s hefty salary. Of course, the Lakers have to offer something tasty for the Raps to bite. Here’s where the path gets rocky. When Jose is gone, who’s left as the backup PG? John Lucas III has looked fine so far, but it’s pre-season. Do we really need to trade now for another forward or wing? If so, we’ve got bigger problems.

When I spin the ESPN Trade Machine, I learn that we can trade Jose, & receive in return Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Andrew Goudelock & Robert Sacre. Does that trade make my heart flutter? Certainly not, but what if we squeeze hard enough for them to throw in their first-rounder next year? Now the deal is much more compelling, as we’ll be getting back some veteran guards to protect Lowry, a big Canadian with  upside in Sacre, and the pick. That’s a deal we could do tonight.

Closer to the deadline, what if the Spurs, another team with legitimate title dreams, find themselves perilously thin in the backcourt? Would they give up talented head case Stephen Jackson? (I know, I know – he’s not a PG, but we’re speculating here. This is a deal BC should only consider if we’re headed to the playoffs & want to add some veteran toughness.) That trade works 1 for 1, but we don’t sign off unless they give us their pick. As both contracts are expiring, we could wave Stephen good-bye at year’s end, enjoy the pick, and still ask Jose to come back at a more reasonable rate for ’12-’13 (oddly enough, the Trade Machine suggests that the Spurs improve by 1 game with this trade, but the Raps fall back by 6…somebody doesn’t like Jax!)

There are no doubt limitless possibilities, but there’s a headache in my future, so I’m stopping. Please offer up your optimal trade thoughts in the Comments. Fierce “Jose is a Raptor forever” types are also welcome to weigh in.

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.


Tags: Jose Calderon Toronto Raptors

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    The Lakers trade scenario seems the most plausible although there can be other options too such as Trading JoCal to the Pistons for Tayshaun Prince. The addition of Prince will give our defense more length and an added perimeter shooting while JO can be the PG that the Pistons most desperately need. How about to Golden St. for Andris Biendris. Granted, his stats don’t show it, but Biendris can be steal if in the right system. He has spent most of his career being a spectator on the offensive end because of the team’s guard heavy play and has been unfairly castigated by Warriors fans. If he were on a team like Toronto, that emphasizes plenty of ball movement, he can prove to be very usefull as time passes by.

    • Brian Boake

      Jeffrey, these are the kinds of ideas I’m looking for. I hadn’t considered either of these deals. The Prince trade makes sense to me because he’s a vet who can play several positions, doesn’t need to have his ego stroked, and as you say, would be helpful on both ends of the court. Biedrins is not my style; his career looks to be cratering. I’m pretty sure it was Bill Simmons who wrote that very few big men have bounceback seasons. Once they start to decline, it’s over. I remember that because the article was negative on our acquisition of J. O’Neil, a deal which certainly didn’t work out in our favour.

  • Hoop Dreams

    Before we bid Jose “Adios”, can we please give him his due? Jose has been such a professional. He’s done so much more than many of the named players who have pulled on a Raptors jersey. As well as playing the game, you can see that Jose is a fan of the game; he’s a competitor and the consummate team player. We’ve been very lucky to have him hold the team together. He’s stuck it out through the good, the bad and the ugly. If he has to go, let’s please make sure it is to a team that will give him a real chance at winning…he deserves it more than most.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Here, Here, Mr. Speaker. I deliberately created scenarios in which Jose is traded to serious contenders, as I don’t have the heart to make a deal in which he ends up in Detroit or Charlotte. His situation is analogous to Steve Nash’s: a veteran guard nearing the end of his fine career, who wants a championship ring. I hope it happens, even if it’s not with the Raps, as Jose has been, as you write, a competitor & team player par excellence.

  • Paul

    I think we should attempt to trade Jose to Memphis, maybe Jose and Ed Davis for Derrick Williams and Nikola Kekovic. It would give us a young athletic 3/4 with potential and a real back up centre. Memphis would get an excellent point guard to keep them in playoff contention till Rubio returns (not to mention that rubio and calderon are close which will only serve to make him happpier) and it gives them a athletic backup 4 with potential.

    • Paul

      Sorry I ment Minnesota. My bad.

      • Newmarket_Brian

        Paul, I apologize for this tardy response, but your comment just showed up. Very weird. It’s timely though, as the memories of seeing both of these T’Wolves (Williams & Petkovic) are fresh from last night’s game.
        I don’t know what to make of Williams. For such a highly touted college player, he looks lost. Maybe he needs a change of scenery?? Petkovic impressed me, a lot. He’s got a delicate touch down low. My only concern would be whether John Lucas really could handle the back-up PG spot if Jose were gone via your trade. Otherwise it has merit.

  • steven banks

    Ridiculous trade for Raptors to the Lakers, Jose will be traded with Kleiza to Golden State for Richard Jefferson and filler, . This saves Golden State money in the following year

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Getting rid of Kleiza is fine with me, but I don’t think I could sign on to a deal in which we get the last 10% of Richard Jefferson’s career while losing Jose. I’d rather stand pat, & wait for PGs in contending cities to get hurt. The phone will stand ringing then, for sure. Berea went down last night, & I think he’s a vital part of the T’wolves plans.

  • dd

    calderon and ross for to sac for tyreke evans and jimmer fredette..throw in a draft pick or sum money as well