Regardless of how anyone felt about the Grizzlies and Raptors sides in the three-team deal that went down just about a month ago, it was widely seen as a great move for the Pistons. It shed Tayshaun Prince’s contract and acquired an expiring one in Jose Calderon. The question of whether the Pistons should attempt to re-sign Calderon is a topic for another day. Right now it only matters how Calderon is playing for Detroit.
The decision to bring Calderon to the motor city was not only a fantastic deal financially, but it was great from a team dynamic standpoint, because – well – he’s still quite the offensive weapon.
Calderon’s been known as a hyper efficient player for most of his career and that’s yet to change, even through his slight shooting slump lately. Since coming over from Toronto, he’s putting up remarkable numbers of 50% from the field, including 51% from beyond the arc. Which, if you factor both into eFG%, would be an astounding 60.3%. Jose doesn’t get to the line much, mainly because he rarely ever wanders into the paint, but in the 14 times he has gotten to the charity stripe he’s converted 13 times. According to Synergy, since Calderon’s debut in early February hes scoring 1.07 points per possession would rank him 25th in the NBA, which is quite the feat for any player. One thing he hasn’t done well on offense though is work the pick and roll. On 52 P&R plays (which would account for almost 40% of his offensive possessions) he’s only scoring 0.65 points per possession and is turning it over almost a fourth of the time. Obviously not having Andre Drummond for most of his time in Detroit can drastically affect ones P&R numbers, so it’s not quite fair to critique Calderon on that just yet. It’s tough to run a P&R with Jason Maxiell when almost every time you know its going to end up in a missed 16 footer. When it comes to distributing, Calderon’s still an elite passer. He’s never going to do anything super flashy, but he knows what pass to make and when to pass it. While his assist % is down 7% from earlier in the season with Toronto, a 37% assist rate is still quite impressive.
Defensively you know what you’re in for when you have Jose Calderon on your team. He’s never been a good defensive player – and while numbers say he’s been better in Detroit – he’s still not a player you’d like to have on the floor on the defensive end. But the Pistons knew this (I hope) when they traded for him and shouldn’t be surprised by any defensive deficiencies he has.
And while the Pistons are only 5-7 since acquiring the Spaniard, it must be noted that they’ve been without Drummond, Knight, (hey even Will Bynum missed a game) or both for a considerable amount of these guys. Realistically, the Pistons have the slightest of chances of making it to the playoffs this year but knowing Lawrence Frank he’ll probably continue to fight till Detroit it mathematically eliminated. So at least we’ll get to see what Brandon Knight looks like as a two guard. With a team like the Pistons its important to look at the positives, and while there aren’t many, Jose Calderon is one.
All statistics in this post are via NBA.com/stats and Mysynergysports