Detroit Pistons: Why Detroit Needs to Keep Jose Calderon


The Detroit Pistons need to re-sign Jose Calderon. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison,

The Detroit Pistons are finishing up another disappointing season this week as they only have one game left. As they look forward to the offseason, they should have two goals in mind.

The first will be the draft. They will have a high draft pick and will hopefully be able to get an instant-impact player.

The other goal needs to be the re-signing of Jose Calderon. With such a young team, the veteran leadership that he provides is invaluable to them. Most of the roster that will be returning next season will be younger than 27 years old.

Calderon is not an explosive scorer, but he is a consistent contributor. His career scoring average is 10.1 points per game; since he arrived in Detroit that has gone up to 11.6. Even more importantly is that his shooting percentages have gone up.

He has shot 48.3 percent from the field and 39.9 from the 3-point line over his career. Since joining Detroit those numbers have jumped to 52.7 and 52 respectively. Those are the best numbers of his career.

For the season, he is second in the league in turnover-to-assist ratio. His 4.11 is second only to Chris Paul’s 4.15. The team needs that steadying influence. The young Pistons were ranked No. 28 in turnovers when he arrived, with Calderon’s play they have improved to No. 22.

With young frontcourt players Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, he not only has players that he can set up, but as defenses collapse on them he will have open shots. As he has shown since arriving in Detroit, he has a better shot than many realized.

His arrival has also freed up Brandon Knight. Knight had been playing point guard but has a shooting-guard mentality.  While not horrible at the point, it also was not the best place for him.  Since moving over to shooting guard it has taken the pressure of running the offense away from him.

Without playing point guard, his turnovers have dropped from 2.9 to 2.4 per game.  Still not great, but it is an improvement.

The key to re-signing Calderon will be the dollar amount.  He is currently finishing up a five-year deal that pays him just more than $11 million this season.  As good of a fit as he is, that is way overpriced.

He will turn 32 this offseason so anything more than a three-year deal is out of the question.  Ideally they can come to terms in the $5 million to $8 million range per year.

He has yet to play for a playoff team in his career and being part of a rebuilding project may not be part of his plan.  However, seeing that he has played the best games of his career while in Detroit might lure him back.

Drummond will grow even more in his second season, the prospect of a high draft pick and knowing that he will be the leader of the team might be enough to bring him back.  Several teams will be after him so the Pistons will have competition.

They need to be careful not to overpay but, they also need to make sure he comes back.