NBA Rumors: Lakers Want Jose Calderon to Play Alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol?
The Los Angeles Lakers have made it no secret that their biggest offseason objective is bringing in a quality point guard. This could happen via a trade for Pau Gasol, through free agency or thanks to divine intervention; no matter what, the end result would be the same.
Over the course of this past year’s horrible playoff run, Ramon Sessions proved that he wasn’t a starting one-guard on a championship team. He has skills, no doubt about it – but having skills and being able to serve as floor general for a contending squad are two very different things. L.A. brass will try to re-sign him this summer but, no matter what, he doesn’t fully address the giant hole at that position.
Enter: Jose Calderson.
Yes, that Jose Calderson. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, if Steve Nash winds up in Toronto with the Raptors, that will likely translate into them using their amnesty clause on Calderon. And if that were to happen…
Reason being: Sources say the Lakers -- as long as they retain Pau Gasol -- have an inside track to sign point guard Jose Calderon if the Raptors, as expected, must amnesty Calderon's contract to create the needed salary-cap space to sign Nash.
And as long as Calderon, in that scenario, manages to go unclaimed by teams under the salary cap that, as per league rules, are given first crack at signing players released through the amnesty clause.
It is widely assumed in NBA front-office circles that the Raptors will amnesty Calderon and the $10.6 million he's owed next season to maximize their cap flexibility.
Is Calderon a championship-level point guard? No. He’s a Ramon Sessions-esque best-as-a-backup sort of player. But, because there aren’t all that many truly great options available right now, he may actually end up being the best that the Lakers can hope for.
Don’t forget, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd have both made it abundantly clear that they’re not coming to Tinseltown. And Andre Miller, a longtime favorite of Laker faithful, let it be known yesterday that he plans to re-up with the Denver Nuggets.
So where does that leave L.A.?
With Jose Calderon, apparently.