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Tayshaun Prince is out. Jose Calderon is in. How does the web think the Pistons did in the NBA's big trade?
Reactions are pouring in from all over the Internets about the big Rudy Gay trade. Most are complimentary of Memphis for not overvaluing Gay, puzzled by Toronto for locking in so many highly paid, inefficient scorers. But they have comments about the Pistons too! And most of them are good!
Following is a reaction from around the web.
Renting Calderon, a talented distributor and shooter whose 19.4 PER ranks No. 8 among point guards, is fine, but not particularly meaningful. Whatever he provides down the stretch is gravy. The Pistons are 5½ games out of the No. 8 seed in the East, and they will likely conclude that maintaining a large role for Knight is the top priority heading into the future. Who knows how well Calderon will adjust to his new digs, but his departure for a playoff team come summertime makes all the sense in the world, given his age and the fact that he hasn't sniffed the postseason since 2008. Calderon's bouncing after the season is no skin off Dumars' back. The Spanish point guard, by virtue of being an expiring deal, will have already served his primary purpose.
As it stands, the team alternates between one of the least and most watchable squads in the NBA, depending on coach Lawrence Frank's rotations.Jose Calderon, even if he is "Jose Calderon's expiring contract," will help the Pistons not only become more watchable, but aid in a last-ditch playoff push. The Pistons are 4 1/2 games out of the last spot in the East, with both Boston and Philadelphia reeling. Prince and Daye made no impact on the team's future plans, so this is an immediate step up, even if the Pistons have to watch as Kyle Singler and Calderon are routinely burned on the defensive end.
Calderon can be a mentor to Brandon Knight, something he hasn't had at the point guard spot. He can space the floor and throw lobs to Andre Drummond. His expiring contract gives them flexibility to add to the core next summer, and signals that Detroit is finally, mercifully, ready to move forward with the young core. This is Greg Monroe's team now.
It might make more sense for Detroit to sit out a year for a better free agency class in 2014, and go the Cleveland route next season by being a trading partner for cash-strapped teams looking to dump assets. Teams will be scurrying to avoid the punitive repeater tax that starts getting counted next year, so the timing for Detroit to clear space couldn't be better, even if they can't attract a big free agent.
The Pistons will miss Prince on the court, but more minutes for players who figure to be around for a bit likeKyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko isn't the worst thing, even if they're not as productive. As for Calderon's addition this year, it's probably worth it to move Brandon Knight to the bench for a 6th man role, somewhere he naturally belongs.
Speaking of lottery appearances! This is the easy part: Detroit dumped a long-term salary (Prince) for a point guard who can help the rest of this season, and opened up even more cap room - and playing time - in the process. Detroit is now set to have something like $22 million in cap room this summer for any kind of max offer. The free agency market is power-forward-heavy, which means it's not exactly teeming with the kind of player the Pistons need - a wing, any wing - but it's always nice to have some flexibility. They have enough, in fact, that it's not out of the realm of possibility they keep Calderon if they can settle at the right number. Brandon Knight is probably better off spending at least some time off the ball for now. Just be careful this summer, Joe Dumars.
Any team that has Jose Calderon is going to operate very efficiently on the offensive end. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen a heck of a lot sooner than you think. This guy is all about running your offense as efficiently as humanly possible. And all he wants to do is get his teammates good shots.
He'll take a shot when it's absolutely necessary. He's a heck of a shooter and a great free-throw shooter. He could shoot it more and there might be nights Lawrence Frank wants him to, but for the most part he is going to turn on the light for the Pistons on offense.
I wouldn't consider this to be much more than a salary dump. Prince was slated to make nearly $22 million for this year and the next two seasons, while Calderon's contract expires this year.
Calderon's having an excellent season and his efficiency numbers always look tremendous, but he won't move the needle much for the Pistons (or any team) because he doesn't consistently get into the lane. As a backup, he's excellent. As a starter, he's just good enough to make you mediocre.
Calderon's a solid return for Detroit and they did well to unload Prince's swollen contract that will pay him $15 million over the next two seasons. Their depth chart is a little more balanced now with Prince and Daye heading south, freeing up more minutes for veteran wingCorey Maggette and Kyle Singler, who feels more like a 3 than a 2.
As an elite shooter and passer, Calderon has always been a poor man's Steve Nash and should help Detroit's 29th ranking in assist-to-turnover ratio right away (Calderon leads the league in that category).