Jose Calderon, who is classy down to his fingertips, has published a love letter to the city of Toronto, and to Raptors’ fans. While the note stops short of discussing his plans for next season, it certainly does not slam the door in the face of those of us who would be beyond delighted to see Jose back in Raptor red.
A cold-eyed view of the Raps’ point guard situation is discouraging in the extreme. We currently have three peas-in-a-pod covering the spot. Kyle Lowry, John Lucas and Sebastian Telfair are undersized, shot-happy and prone to turnovers. Even if they were borderline All-Stars, it’s poor roster management to have so many lookalike players, as a coach’s in-game options are severely constrained. Kyle’s best games as a Rap were his first three. Since then he has been given second chances galore, but still can’t lead our team out of the doldrums. By contrast, Jose’s record as the starting point this season was exemplary. The best portion of our season commenced when he stepped in following Kyle’s injury to lead the December win over Dallas which ended the agonizing 4-19 start. From then until Jose was traded at the end of January, the Raps went 12-10, and 3 of those losses were in overtime.
After this season, Jose will be on the market as an Unrestricted Free Agent, and has a lot to sell. He leads the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage and assists to turnover ratio, buries almost every free-throw he tries, and is never out of the lineup. When the ball goes up on the 2013-14 season, Jose will be barely 32 years old and is known for always being in superb condition. To me, it’s a no-brainer that the Raps should be knocking on Jose’s door early and often. Perhaps the signing of highly-regarded Italian forward Gigi Datome will whet Jose’s appetite to return, or maybe a giant round of applause when he’s announced in Detroit’s lineup on Monday night will remind him of the high regard Raps fans have for him. Loyal readers will remember I pitched the idea of trading Andrea Bargnani and Landry Fields for Pau Gasol, then asking Pau to pitch Jose on the merits of returning. Could the presence of his fellow Spaniard and close friend be what it takes to get Jose back?
Hey, Bryan Colangelo, here’s an idea: take Jose out to dinner this summer, look him in the eye and say “I made a mistake in trading you. Please come back. Everybody – players, coaches, fans, and me – is unanimous in wanting you to return to your second home.” Detroit’s GM, Joe Dumars, has hinted that he’d like Jose to continue as a Piston, but I have difficulty believing Jose thinks much of that option. The Pistons are 6-19 since his arrival, and if Jose Calderon can’t help a team, it’s got major issues. I can’t imagine Jose wanting to endure another Raptor-style rebuild in the final years of his career.
What do you think, Rapture Nation? Can we rise up with one voice and say “Jose, come home”? Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments.
Brian Boake is a co-editor 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.