Mar 22, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Jose Calderon (center) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (left) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade (right) defend the play during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Calderon, won't you please come home?

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.

Mar 29, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (3) passes the ball up court during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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.



Tags: Bryan Colangelo Detroit Pistons Jose Calderon Toronto Raptors

  • DET

    “if Jose Calderon can’t help a team, it’s got major issues”

    yeah, after all those wins he’s helped the Raptors rack up over the years…

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi DET: Jose isn’t the guy who drafted Rafael Arujao, or signed Jason Kapono and Hedo Turkoglu. It seems to me the Raps’ difficulties during his time in Toronto are “owned” by those wearing fancy suits, not him.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Guy

    Given the state of the Raptors, why would/should they entertain the thought of bringing back the same Pg that will be 32 next season, is not particularly quick, is poor defensively & never once lead the Raps to a winning record in 4 years? The response to this question inevitably comes back to the one you provided… Mgmt is to blame for the losses, not Jose. That’s a cop out. He was one of the best players on the team for 4 years, and they never once finished above .500. He must shoulder responsibility. What else seems to be forgotten during the team’s 4-19 start this year. Jose played plenty of minutes in all those games. But he avoids criticism because he didn’t start.

    Jose fans will point to his individual stats, Asst/TO ratio, FG%, FT%, etc..and all those are nice. But none of those individual stats have ever equated to wins. He’s a great shooter, but he can’t create his own shot. He’s a fabulous FT shooter, but he averages 1 FT/game. His assist numbers are great, but those are negated by how much he gives up on the defensive end.

    Nice guy? Yes. Great teammate? Absolutely. Is he the right Pg for the Raptors going forward? No.

    You’re right, Lowry’s best games were early in the year because he was playing like the guy the traded for. Pressuring the defense by driving & looking to create &/or score. Since then, he’s been hamstrung by the coach. Casey wants him to play a different style, essentially to ignore what he does best, to now run the offense through Derozan & Rudy Gay. Two ball-stopping, inefficient volume shooters. Lowry isn’t perfect so fault him if you must, but remember he’s running the offense Casey wants him to run.

    That said, if you don’t want to give Lowry another year, then pursue a guy like Jeff Teague in Atlanta as he’s a restricted FA. A young, quick, skilled Pg that can grow with the team.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy: Thanks for your long & thoughtful comment. I’ll address your last point first – I’d love to get Jeff Teague. He’s an athlete with a high ceiling. I’ll try to build a trade around him, & post it.
      I didn’t want to make my Jose post too long, but here’s an additional thought I might have added: Jose is not a shortcut to a championship, or even a guarantee of a playoff berth. He’s best as a backup point guard who will offer a different look to the defense. He can also finish a game with Kyle, when we’re protecting a lead, and quite happy to be fouled.
      Here’s my final thought: you can keep bringing point guards in for an audition, and hope one sticks. Or you can bring back Jose, who’s a proven player (yes, he’s not a great defender, but hopefully JV can provide a backstop when the young burners slide by Jose), who wants to be in Toronto, and who will probably come at a reasonable price.

      • Greg Hall

        Speaking of auditions we shipped out of town, in fact one of my favorite Raptors point guards behind Damon Stoudamire and Kyle Lowry; Jerryd Bayless, isn’t he showing how much of a failed audition he was this season by playing out of his mind good in both the regular season and bits of the playoffs… really sad we couldn’t have pulled off the Rudy Gay deal last off-season and kept Bayless, he was a great defender and good offensive talent … my 2 cents