Now that the Toronto Raptors have acquired Kyle Lowry to run the point, Jose Calderon has spoken to team management about being traded to another team. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, one team that has come forward as being interested in the Spanish guard’s services is the Dallas Mavericks, who could use some depth at point guard.
Calderon is the prototypical European point guard. He is a good scorer and can make some pretty passes, having averaged 10.5 points and 8.8 assists for the Raptors last season. When he wasn’t racking up the assists, he was shooting an impressive 46 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point land.
The only real knock against Calderon is that defense isn’t exactly his strong suit. He is an average pest, but never really executes on coverage. Still, in Dallas, this wouldn’t be a problem.
You see, the Mavericks have a hole at the point now that Jason Kidd is with the New York Knicks. Team GM Donnie Nelson already has a point man in Darren Collison, newly acquired from the Indiana Pacers, but he isn’t exactly what one would call a true point man. He may play the point quite a bit, but his skillset isn’t what one would expect from a floor general.
That isn’t to say that Collison is a bad player. He has averaged 12.1 points per game for his career, but only 5.2 assists. His best work on the court is his three-point shooting, and he has shot 36 percent from downtown for his career. In terms of defense, he’s just as average as Calderon. That said, at 6’0″, 160 pounds, he’s an undersized shooting guard, essentially.
Fortunately for the Mavericks’ system, the point guard isn’t really required to make a major impact on defense. That said, Nelson should send a draft pick or two to Toronto for Calderon.
Calderon would be a great fit in Dallas as he is the type of passer necessary to get the ball to stars like Dirk Nowitzki and newly signed center Chris Kaman. He reads offenses well and his basketball IQ is respectable.
More importantly, his scoring talents are such that he could help shoulder some of the offensive load. Basketball is a team game, and as much as the Mavericks would love to go to Nowitzki possession after possession, that just doesn’t work in the long run. With another reliable scoring option on the floor in Calderon, Dallas could get back into title contention easily.
That all being said, it’s simple to see why Calderon would be a perfect fit for the Dallas Mavericks. His superior passing skills and smooth shooting touch are just what the team needs at point guard, and while his overall game isn’t what it should be for a point man, he will still bring plenty to the table.
All that Donnie Nelson needs to do is make a deal, so he would be wise to get on the phone and hear what Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo wants in exchange.
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