We’re going to handle preseason player profiles differently this year on RaptorBlog. For each player on the 2012-13 Raptors’ active roster, Joseph Casciaro and I are going to email our thoughts back and forth and then post the resulting conversation on the blog. It’s an edgy new form of journalism! Or something…

Jose Calderon, PG, 6’3″, 211 lbs.
2011-12 stats: 53 games, 33.9 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 8.8 APG, 0.1 BPG, 0.9 SPG, 45.7 FG%, 37.1 3P%, 88.2 FT%, 16.7 PER

Scott: Will this really only be Calderon’s eighth season in Toronto? Doesn’t it seem he’s been around since the founding of the franchise? Well, I’m not going to try to come up with anything new to say about his game, because we all know what we’re getting by this point. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing worth mentioning about Calderon is that he’ll finally be in his rightful place as a backup point guard in this league. I don’t mean any disrespect by that — I believe he could be one of the top backups in the NBA. But after 293 games as a starter and 480 games in total, I’m comfortable in saying that he’s at the stage of his career where he needs to bring value to the team as a change of pace — a slower, more deliberating pace — off the bench.

Joseph: That’s really what this is about, moving Calderon back to the bench. From an offensive standpoint, the guy is obviously NBA starter material, but when looking at Calderon’s total package and what he gives up on the defensive end, the case for Jose is seriously dented.

One of the things I like about acquiring Kyle Lowry is that the move also significantly improves our bench by moving Calderon there. It gives the Raptors a chance to have a pretty efficient offensive combination off the pine and should include a couple of solid pick-and-roll combos (Calderon plus Amir and Calderon plus Valanciunas while Jonas comes off the bench early on in his career).

If Lowry can be the complete pure point guard to start and Calderon continues to be a potent offensive lead guard in relief, the Raptors should boast one of the better point guard combinations in the NBA this season.

Scott: My only question about Jose is whether or not he’ll continue to be a team player if he thinks he’s being “robbed” of millions on his next contract because he’s been reduced to a backup role — as if every NBA GM doesn’t already know what kind of player he is by now. I laugh every season when I read some people suggest that he’s being “featured” for a potential trade. I’m pretty sure Mitch Kupchak never turned on the TV at any point over the past few seasons and proclaimed, “Hark! Who is this Spanish chap with the pointy sideburns and vigorous hand-clapping on defense? He would make the perfect foil for Sir Kobe in The Royal Triangle. Manservant! Make sure Sir Colangelo is extended an invitation to our next orgy!”

I’m already bored with this profile. Having said that, I may weep if he remains a Raptor after this season. Nothing personal, Jose. It’s not you, it’s me. I need a change.

Joseph: If he has a good season backing up Lowry, I’ll be quite fine with having him return on a cheaper contract as a veteran bench point guard. But if his expiring contract can be used to acquire a worthwhile piece going forward, that’s obviously the route I’d like the team to take.

What will be interesting to me is seeing how Calderon plays things next summer if the Raptors are offering to re-sign him to a more team-friendly deal. Will he stick around or test the grass on the other side?

Scott: If he doesn’t fall off much this season, I’d be able to stomach a two-year, $8 million or three-year, $10 million deal, but not a dollar or a year more. We get criticized for being overly critical of Calderon on this blog but he’s obviously a good teammate and an even better person. I’ll actually be quite happy for him if he gets to play on a legitimate contending team before the end of his NBA career.

On that note, I’m going to kill this post like Calderon has killed so many Raptors two-on-one fast breaks.

Joseph: Before we finish, what do you think of “Calderon’s Pig Farm” as a fantasy team name?

Scott: That’s pretty good. As far as Raptor-themed fantasy team names go, it’s right up with two of my previous handles: “Roko-Leni Picture Show” and “Mensah-Bonsu Society”. I’d forgotten that Calderon is part-owner of a pig farm, though, and that makes me second-guess the true nature of his character. As Brick Top from “Snatch” taught us (YouTube — NSFW), “Be wary of any man who keeps a pig farm.” Somebody tell Kyle Lowry that if Jose invites him to dinner, he should politely decline.

Comments (15)

  1. I have no idea how you guys made a player profile about Jose Calderon interesting.

    You’re doing a great job with these.

    • Thanks! I wanted to try this format because I figured they’d be a lot easier and more fun to write if we just went back and forth in a “conversation” instead of having to actually sit down and pretend like we had anything original or interesting to say in another analysis of Jose freakin’ Calderon. I’ll openly admit to putting very little thought into these, I’m just writing what comes off the top of my head. Hopefully, the readers are entertained by them because there probably isn’t a lot of “informing” we can do at this stage.

      • Don’t worry Tim will be here soon to over analyse and criticize lol I do like the format too I’ll read any Raps news until the season opener but most of it has and will be just regurgitated analysis and statistics

  2. Hope he finishes his career as a Raptor, at a reasonable price.
    Top of my list for for retiring a jersey.

    • I might be okay with eventually honouring his jersey or something, but to actually retire the No. 8 would be a little much for me. Though I know there are plenty of Raptors fans who agree with you.

  3. Offensively Calderon is a solid starting point guard, who has been one of the league leaders in assists over the past few seasons, and can put up double digit points. I would like to see the raptors trade him to a contender as a backup, i.e. Lakers, Hawks, 76ers, Grizzlies, Heat, Mavericks, in exchange for a first rounder. That will free up some cap space, and give us a potential asset

    • Based on the fact that he’s definitely a top-30 point guard, Calderon’s technically an NBA starter, but is a perfect bench point guard for solid playoff teams and true contenders. If the Raptors were able to find a trade that sent him to a contender while acquiring a valuable asset, it would be a nice finish to his time in Toronto. Though as I wrote, I’d be fine with him finishing his career in Toronto as Kyle Lowry’s backup at a fair price.

  4. In what would be a longshot, Raps get rid of him at some point, free up the cap space and offer everything to Harden and hope OKC can’t match the offer. That’d be amazing to see

    • Harden’s been on my mind a lot lately. If you look at the top-10 or top-15 point guards in the NBA right now, he’s one of the few who actually scores efficiently, and when you consider that most of the elite players at the position (Wade, Kobe, Ginobili, and others) are on the other side of 30, it’s not hard to envision Harden potentially taking over as the NBA’s best two-guard in the next 2-3 years. At just 23, I think he’s worth a max offer in today’s NBA landscape where much lesser players than him are grossly overpaid.

      • Yeah I agree he’d be worth the money plus Lowry Derozan Harden Bargnani and Valanciunas as a startign 5 would be great

        • Don’t think DeRozan would be coming back if they go after Harden. DeRozan is going to be up for a contract renewal, and if he doesn’t step up his game in a big way this season, I’m guessing and hoping they trade him before the deadline for some future pick and use the money freed up by that and Calderon’s expiring contract to go after someone good (like Harden, but he may be a pipe dream).

          Of course they may try DD as a 3 but I don’t think that’s going to work out.

  5. I agree Calderon is on the bubble as far a NBA starter material, but I still think there’s a good chance he will start for the raps. He played his defense of his career last year (by the naked eye) and his two man game with Bargnani is a staple of the Raptor offence. Unless we can perchance to dream that Bargnani will be coming off the bench going forward. Think that’s possible? Can Bargnani keep up with Lowry?

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