With the departure of North Carolina native Raymond Felton, there will be an empty feeling in the hearts of Bobcats fans.
Felton’s decision was enticed by the opportunity to play alongside five- time All-Star Amar’e Stoudimire and the limelight that goes along with being an athlete in New York City.
The Charlotte Bobcats did not waste any time filling Felton’s spot on the depth chart with the acquisition of Jose Calderon from the Toronto Raptors in a three team deal that sent Center Tyson Chandler and Forward Boris Diaw to Toronto.
Calderon did not initially intend on playing in the NBA until former Raptors General Manager Rob Babcock encouraged the Spaniard Guard to sign on August 3, 2005. In his rookie season, Calderon impressed NBA analysts with his ability to distribute the ball effectively, ranking third among rookies averaging 4.5 assist per game.
The six-foot-three Calderon will provide a valuable asset for Larry Brown whether it be off the bench behind fellow point guard D.J Augustin or as a starter.
He posted significant numbers in his mixed role as a starter and bench player, in the 2009-2010 season Calderon averaged 12.8 points and two rebounds per game.
Like most European players, he has a knack for the mid range jump shot, but he possesses the athleticism to soar through the air and get to the hoop, whether it be a layup or the rare dunk.
Calderon has drawn criticism for his inability to run the up-tempo offense, but he possesses the necessary tools to become a very effective everyday player in Bobcats head coach Larry Brown’s system.
In my opinion the only category that Calderon could really benefit from some improvement is the rebound category, but you can’t neglect the fact that he is only six-foot-three and a point guard.
The free throw line has proven to be friendly to Calderon; one can’t help but be impressed by his career 87.8 percent from behind the charity stripe. One cannot look in the NBA Record Books without seeing Calderon listed as having the highest free throw percentage in a single season, sinking 98.1 percent in 2008-2009.
The Charlotte Bobcats are getting a multi-faceted guard who has established himself in the NBA and in International Basketball.
In the 2006 FIBA championship game with Greece, Calderon headlined the Spanish scoring barrage with 18 points in the victory.
Calderon is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Charlotte roster with his abundant knowledge of the game and raw talent.
Calderon isn’t your typical NBA player who will sacrifice the fundamentals for the flash; instead he will make the pass.
Calderon possesses a similar playing style to Canadian native Steve Nash of the Phoenix Sun with his focus on passing, creating shots, driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line.
The Bobcats expect Calderon to be an effective weapon at the point guard slot, where he was led Toronto in assists last season with 404.