Jan 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Raptors power forward Ed Davis (32) grabs a rebound in front of point guard Jose Calderon (8) against the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena. The Hawks won 93-84. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Raptors Nation mourns - Jose Calderon and Ed Davis are gone

Rudy Gay got his closeup – now let’s turn our attention to what we’ve given him up to acquire him.

I don’t believe I can overstate the degree to which fans feel betrayed by the trade of Jose Calderon. He’s a player who was always going to be punted to the bench (or out the door) by the arrival of the Next Big Thing, whether it was T.J. Ford, Jarrett Jack or Kyle Lowry.

November 18, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson (14) tries to break through Toronto Raptors center-forward Amir Johnson (15) and guard Jose Calderon (8) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Orlando, 97-86. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yet year after year, there was Jose, the consummate professional, fending off another challenge to his position as starting point guard. Jose the brilliant passer, with his league-leading assist to turnover ratio. Jose the long-range bomber, shooting almost 43% from distance this season.

But Jose was so much more than cold statistics.

He was the beating heart of the offense, a player who knew precisely when his mates were capable of scoring, and when they were flagging and it was time to bury some jumpers to alleviate the pressure. Is it an overstatement to postulate that Jose made Amir Johnson’s career? Watching Amir slash to the bucket just in time to cram home another perfect pass from Jose was worth the price of admission.

Jose made everyone better, and that certainly includes Ed Davis. Ed had stumbled through his first 2 seasons as a Rap, looking woefully unprepared to be a pro. His jump shot was poor for a college player, and he had little to no post-up game. But he had a nose for the ball, and would present himself under the basket at the right time to receive another perfect pass from….surprise, surprise, Jose Calderon.

January 26, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward Ed Davis (32) jams the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers center-forward Tyler Zeller (40)looks on during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This year, Ed’s game improved exponentially, as he built a jumper over the summer, and lost his shyness about taking his defender one on one. He stepped into the starting lineup following Andrea Bargnani’s injury and was providing nearly a double-double each game – and for that, he’s rewarded with a trade.

Bryan Colangelo has been preaching patience and improvement through the draft to the increasingly frustrated Raps fan base for years. Good polite Toronto fans that we are, we bought it. Now he’s made a mockery of his own philosophy by trading away a blossoming homegrown star in Ed Davis, and added enormous insult to injury by moving out the beloved Calderon.

BC is all-in. Jose was the last vestige of the Rob Babcock era (is that why Colangelo always seemed to want Jose gone?) Unless Rudy Gay plays like an All-Star from the moment he arrives, this deal will haunt BC like no other he’s ever made.

Even fine play from Rudy may not be enough to woo Ed and Jose’s legions of fan back to the Raptors’ cause. They are hurting today, and will be for a long time.


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: Ed Davis Jose Calderon Toronto Raptors

  • Rowdy101

    This is a good, and necessary trade. The Raps are losing because no one can rise above mediocrity at the critical moments. They need a star. They need the go-to guy. We hoped it was Bargnani. We hoped it would be DeRozan. We hoped it would be Landry (maybe a stretch).

    Our best games are when the pick-ups and bench players play well. Davis, Calderon, DeRozan, Johnson showed that they can compete, but not consistently like the star players. Calderon can always come back as a free agent.

    One more trade to go…. Pao Gasol.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Rowdy: I hope you’re right about Calderon coming back. He’s the kind of player who will age well. He’s relied more on fitness than athleticism to build his skills, and fend off those who would take his job.
      Let’s see what happens when Bargnani comes back. If he can contribute we may not need Gasol.

  • Tim Bayer

    Although Jose Calderon was beloved here in Toronto, I believe the team will be better with Kyle Lowry running the show. He’s a better scorer and defender, and is good friends with Rudy Gay. Speaking of Gay, he gives the Raptors the best swingman scorer they’ve had since VC. Fans tend to overrate likeable players like Calderon and Davis. I just hope they’ll recognize Gay for the elite talent he is and stop focusing on the contract.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Tim: There’s no doubt about Gay being by far the best small forward we’ve had in ages. I don’t think the link between the fans and the departed players is simply because they were “likeable”. The season was going south in a great hurry before they were moved into the starting lineup, and we started to win. Even our recent, painful losses have been competitive. I hope Rudy can make a difference in our fortunes, quickly.

  • ddavies2006@sympatico. ca

    So sad to hear Jose is leaving. The raptor games will not be the same without him.

    • Newmarket_Brian


  • Samir

    Yes I totally agree. Jose was the heart and soul of the team. I still remember playing 2k10 and using Calderon. He’s played for the team for over 8 years already and its just crazy how they could give him away so easily. It’s the same pain that Suns and Thunder fans felt when Nash and Harden were traded. These players were the ones who defined the team. I will always remember the raptors as derozan, bargnani, and Calderon. Also I cannot believe they would just throw away Ed Davis, talent. The problem is that he might not do as well in memphis as compared to in toronto. When I first heard this deal I was really dissapointed because the raptors are my second favorite. But I tell you something. Calderon is a winner and he has team loyalty. Don’t be surprised if he is back next year! :)

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Samir: Yes, it’s bad enough to discard Jose, but to toss Ed overboard at the same time is very, very hard to take for Raps’ fans. I hope Ed gets minutes in Memphis, because I think you’re right – he may be relegated to the bench.
      I hope you’re right about Jose coming back. Everyone would be thrilled. I’m concerned he may say “the hell with Bryan Colangelo”, and drop Toronto as a place to play. He might get traded again!