Jose Calderon is exactly the type of player the Pistons have needed since trading Chaunecy Billups. In fact, Calderon provides many of the same things Billups provided to the great Piston teams of the last decade, most importantly, the ability to facilitate a five-man offense, fantastic passing, and efficient scoring. On top of that, his defense has been better than its reputation.
In a recent interview with Keith Langlois on Pistons.com, Joe Dumars confirmed in very certain terms what many Pistons fans have been hoping for: the Pistons will pursue Jose Calderon in the summer of 2013.
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Some money quotes:
Dumars is hoping Calderon will buy into the future, not the past:
We can still do those things great. A guy can still look around and say, ‘I like the direction. I like the thinking. I like how they do business. I can see myself here going forward because I trust that they’re going to turn this thing around.’ You can still sell, but clearly it’s a lot easier when you’re sitting in the NBA Finals as opposed to finishing a tough, tough season.
Dumars on Calderon filling a team need:
It’s been very good to have a guy like Jose, who’s a veteran, true point guard, leader, on your team," he said. "A lot of the stuff he brings is exactly an area that we needed to get better in, so that’s why I really enjoying watching him. The results are not where we want them to be, but in the middle of the season for where your team is right now, it was never the expectation that Jose would come in and just turn everything around for us. What he would do is give us a snap shot of what it’s like to have a true point guard out there.
Dumars on Calderon and Andre Drummond playing together:
It can’t hurt, Dumars knows, if Drummond’s back injury heals in time to allow him to squeeze in at least a few games by season’s end. Calderon’s first game in a Pistons uniform came on Feb. 4 at New York, the day after Drummond initially injured himself in a loss to the Lakers.
"That would be great if those two guys got a chance to connect on the court – literally and figuratively," Dumars said. "That would be great. It really would be."
That last point is one more reason I am pulling for Andre Drummond to return to action this season. For the Pistons to have a real chance at success in the coming years, Andre Drummond needs to prove his early success wasn't a fluke. And if Dre is as good as we think he is, that just might influence players like Calderon - who presumably want to spend the ends of their careers winning - to take a close look at Detroit as a landing spot this summer.