Jose Calderon joined the Detroit Pistons in January as part of the complicated Rudy Gay-to-Toronto Raptors deal and his impact since then has been noticeable and positive — so much so that Detroit should use some of their cap space to bring the Spanish point guard back this off-season.
Calderon, a typically average point guard by NBA standards, has positively impacted a young and floundering Pistons outfit. While Detroit remains awful (a ghastly 1-10 in March), his pass-first style of play has been beneficial for a team devoid of strong leadership. By all accounts, the Pistons want Calderon to remain in a Detroit jersey, something the 30-year old would also like to see happen.
The Pistons haven’t seen too much leadership at the point guard position since the days of Chauncey Billups. Current guards Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight have fared only marginally better than the disastrous Allen Iverson experiment of a few years ago.
Unlike a lot of recent Pistons’ point guards, Calderon is all about team basketball — his assist percentage of 36.5 percent is considerably higher than Knight’s (22.4) and Stuckey’s (19.6), and better than the likes of Mike Conley, Steve Nash, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague, all of whom average more minutes per game.
Calderon doesn’t attempt a ton of field goals, but he does connect with an impressive 65.3 true shooting percentage and has maintained a very respectable PER of 19.0.
The Pistons will have a ton of cap space this season ($30 million if they amnesty Charlie Villanueva) and although it is unclear how much and how many years it will take to retain the veteran point, Calderon’s worth in Detroit is not something the club can afford to overlook.
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