Jose Calderon isn’t a superstar in the NBA. In fact, one could argue that he’s one of the more overpaid players in the league. Calderon is slated to make $11 million in 2012-13, which doesn’t quite match his production level. At just 12.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals, he’s a quality second-tier starter at best.
However, the Detroit Pistons will have an opportunity to re-sign Calderon after this year at a more reasonable market value. They have a very young team that needs leadership and if there’s one thing Calderon can provide regardless of age or statistics, it’s that.
The Pistons currently sit at 22-37, which is good for fourth in the Central Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference. They are a full 6.5 games out of a playoff spot and appear to be finished. At this point, aside from playing spoiler, they’re working on development in hopes of making the playoffs in 2013-14.
Calderon will be around for those next 23 games, but it’s the offseason and the 2013-14 regular season where he’ll be able to show his worth.
Over his career, he’s had a sparkling assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.2-to-1. One of the biggest problems with the young Pistons is their penchant for turning the ball over too much. They rank No. 28 in the NBA in turnovers, mostly due to Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight.
At just 21 years old, Knight looks to be the point guard of the future. He hasn’t blossomed just yet and his advanced statistics don’t scream “superstar” at this point. He does have a lot of raw speed, which is just enhanced by his ability to knock down the outside shot (currently at 36.7 percent from three).
Putting those things together has been difficult. Synergy Sports has him ranked as one of the worst offensive players in the league, averaging just .84 points per possession (No. 289 in the NBA). In isolation, he rises to No. 75, but as the pick-and-roll ball handler, he’s poor at No. 108.
While he isn’t going to turn into Kyrie Irving, Knight can learn alot from Calderon in the pick-and-roll. With the speed to turn the corner and the skill to shoot over the pick, Knight has the abilities in place. Calderon can help him with his decision making and his court vision.
He needs is more leadership and direction. Not all players are born with the killer instincts of Irving. Some need to be cultivated, and Knight falls into that category.
Re-signing Calderon should be at the top of the Pistons’ to-do list this summer, as long as they can get him for a reasonable price. Anywhere above $8 million would likely be too much for the Pistons to offer for a player who will likely act more as a mentor than a contributor in 2013-14.