NBA / Jul 3, 2008 / 11:00 am

Summer ’08 Players To Watch — Jose Calderon

Jose CalderonJose Calderon

*Reprinted from Dime #42, on sale now*

After championships are won and lost, the NBA, college and high school basketball lays its foundation in the summer months. With the draft, the AAU circuit and summer camps giving rise to new stars replacing the old — plus the world’s most-watched basketball tournament getting underway in Beijing — we give you this summer’s Players 2 Watch…

JOSE CALDERON

Don’t let last summer’s FIBA Americas tournament fool you – there is no guarantee that Team USA will win gold at the 2008 Olympics. As good as the home team looked running through the likes of Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the JV version of Team Argentina to qualify for its Olympic spot, this current stars-and-stripes roster has yet to face any of the notable European powers. Leading that group is Spain, the reigning World Champions who boast NBA-certified talent in Pau Gasol, J.C. Navarro, Jorge Garbajosa, Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez and Marc Gasol.

But if there is one player most responsible for the Spaniards posing a threat to knock off the U.S., it’s Jose Calderon. You see, international competition is just like the NCAA Tournament; it’s all about the guard play. And Calderon is coming off a season in which he established himself as one of the best point guards in the world. Splitting duties with T.J. Ford for the Toronto Raptors, the 26-year-old Calderon averaged 11.2 points and 8.3 assists (fifth-best in the NBA) while posting a 5.38-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, the best in the League. In February he was considered one of the biggest All-Star Game snubs, and later helped lead the Raps to a second straight playoff berth. Calderon’s value was perhaps best displayed when Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo publicly stated in a mid-season ESPN podcast that the franchise would be more than willing to open up the checkbook and do whatever it took to keep Calderon, a restricted free agent this summer.

Between a healthy contract from Toronto or another NBA squad, and a medal shining gold, silver or bronze from Beijing, this should be an offseason full of riches for Jose Calderon.

(Editor’s Note: Calderon reportedly agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal with Toronto yesterday.)

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  • Benoit Benjamin

    And yet he’s still on the bench behind Juan Carlos Navarro, who’s better in international play.

  • Kobeef

    Is anyone else really impressed that the Raptors got Calderon for HALF of what LA paid for Baron Davis and just over a third of what Washinton paid for Arenas?

    Now, Calderon isn’t going to be throwing down on Kirelenko any time soon but he is a solid shooter, has a great handle and an awesome playmaker which are the most important qualities of a PG.

    Nice move T-Dot

  • Dagomar

    Five-year, $40 million? That’s one hell of a coup for Colangelo. This guy is good, young, and he’s only going to improve. He reminds me of Steve Nash in that he always seems to make the right choices on the court.

  • Damon

    calderon is on the bench behind navarro?
    what kind of eurobasket you watched last year?
    calderon has been the starting point guard for a while now. navarro mostly plays the two and didn’t even start all games last year.

  • Jeronimo

    Co-sign what damon said. Calderon and Navarro don’t even play the same position. Cool for DIME to give love to man Calderon. Keep it up y’all!

  • yallallreadyknow

    please!
    this is nonesense.
    jose calderon is nothing but the new carlos arroyo

  • Don Mega

    yeah , right .

    jose calderon is currently bathing in money and beautiful latinas .

    carlos arroyo is currently wasted in a shitty orlando hotel , bathing in his own vomit ..

    jose is the new jose !

  • http://psinapticapotheosis.org Amar

    calderon had the best assist:to ratio last season and is a pure point guard (pass first, good handle, okay on defense, and has legit three point range).

    arroyo was a me first guard who can’t even beat out jameer nelson on the depth chart.

  • Safetydan

    Agree with Amar

    Arroyo is bathing in his own throw up

  • reana

    Really? hard to believe.i heard this news times from many friends playing on a tall dating site ___Tallmingle.com___,i did not believe, i think that they are know nothing but dating and love.
    i am wrong.

  • drewstar

    calderon starts at the 1 for spain and navarro starts at the 2.

  • todd

    I can’t wait to see Rudy Fernandez in the NBA

  • Tom G

    all that matters now is that hes starting for the Toronto Raptors.

  • TJ Ford

    Maaaaaannn, whatever. Y’all is right. Jose ain’t shit

  • http://psinapticapotheosis.org Amar

    lmao @ TJ