In the most recent NBA news and rumors, it is starting to look like one of the Eastern Conference teams will benefit from the Los Angeles Lakers’ moves to clear up space. The Atlanta Hawks are said to be the new destination for point guard Jose Calderon. He was recently waived by the Lakers not long ago, then joined the Golden State Warriors. However, the top team in the Western Conference chose to part ways with Calderon and recently signed Matt Barnes after Kevin Durant went down with an injury.
The Warriors had quickly claimed Calderon off waivers and signed him to a “rest-of-season deal,” but then they released him on Wednesday, ESPN reported. Calderon was ready to take less money to play for the championship contenders. Soon after Calderon and the team had made arrangements, an unfortunate injury occurred for the Warriors star forward Kevin Durant. The former NBA MVP suffered an MCL sprain and bone bruise after teammate Zaza Pachulia fell to the court and against Durant’s leg in a game against the Wizards this past Tuesday.
Later, it was determined “KD” would be out for four weeks before he’s reevaluated. With Durant out of action for at least a month, signing another forward to help out became more pressing than having a backup point guard, so the Warriors had to quickly change their plans over who to bring to the roster.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team had to make a tough decision, but it’s also being reported that Calderon stands to make $415,000 for a “two-hour stint” with Golden State. Basically, it was a way for the Warriors to still honor a financial obligation rather than backing out on a player who chose to take a pay cut to be part of their roster.
Kerr was quoted by San Jose Mercury News regarding the deal and basically said that still paying Calderon was the only option in their minds. For all they know, Calderon may be available again for Golden State’s roster in the future.
“Everything we do here is first class. You guys know that. The way we treat our players, the way we go about our business. There was never even a doubt. Joe said: ‘The guy took a $400-thousand dollar pay cut to leave the Lakers. There’s no way we’re going to leave him out to dry.'”
That means Calderon made a good chunk of money for his “troubles” and now will probably sign with another potential playoff squad. The Atlanta Hawks appear as the front runners, so far. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke about the team’s need to fill a specific position for the No. 15 spot on the roster.
“We obviously brought in a guy like Gary (Neal) who is more of a (shooting guard, point guard). I think the 15th guy has to have some point guard in him, if not just a stone-cold point guard, which is probably more likely.”
ESPN’s Marc Stein recently tweeted out that the Hawks are considering several options to fill that spot, but Jose Calderon was one player named.
The Hawks are looking at a number of PGs in search of backcourt depth, according to league sources, with Jose Calderon prime among them.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 1, 2017
According to ESPN in their latest report, the Atlanta Hawks will try to claim Calderon off waivers Saturday at 5 p.m. and pay him what’s still owed by Golden State. That would be about $400,000 the Hawks will need to spend unless they choose to wait for Calderon to clear waivers and then sign him to a veteran minimum deal. The move will be a welcome one for an Atlanta team that is currently sitting in the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference and trying to build up depth ahead of the postseason.
The 35-year-old point guard from Spain has now spent 11 years in the league and has a career average of 9.7 points, 6.3 assists, and 1.8 rebounds a game. For his latest season, Calderon was averaging much lower numbers of 3.3 points, 2.1 assists, and about two rebounds per outing. However, Calderon was only getting about 12.1 minutes of game time on average in his 24 games played for the Lakers and will probably get a bit more time when he finally joins the Hawks.
NBA fans, is signing Jose Calderon the best move for the Atlanta Hawks, or should they look elsewhere for their backup point guard?
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]