New York Knicks Trade Rumors: Jose Calderon The Next To Be Traded?


New York Knicks Trade Rumors: Is Jose Calderon Next To Be Traded From New York?

The house cleaning began for the New York Knicks on Monday night, when they were involved in a three-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. In the trade they moved Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cavaliers for essentially nothing more than cap space and hope for the future. With that, there are people beginning to say this is only the beginning for Phil Jackson, as he could continue stripping down the roster to open up as much cap space as possible for the future offseason. The next person who could be in line you ask? The answer would be point guard Jose Calderon.

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Calderon was acquired along with Samuel Dalembert, who was released as well Monday, Shane Larkin and second round picks that turned into Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Calderon seemed to be a perfect fit for the triangle offense, as he is as efficient of a shooter as anyone in the NBA, and rarely turns the ball over.

Things have not turned out exactly as the Knicks had envisioned for Calderon though, as he has struggled like many of his teammates throughout the season. Calderon’s offensive efficiency has gone out the window, as he is shooting a career-worst 41.2 percent from the field. That was equated to only 9.2 points per game, his lowest per game average since the 2006-2007 season, his second in the NBA. He is also averaging a career-low 4.3 assists per game, which is as much of an indictment of his struggles this season and of his teammates to score, as the Knicks average only 93.1 points per game, second lowest on the NBA.

With Calderon struggling so mightily, it is fair to wonder what the Knicks could really expect to get in return for the veteran. His stock is obviously not high, and it is fair to wonder if his days of being a starting point guard are behind him. In addition to his offensive struggles, Calderon has never been known as a strong defender; that has continued in New York, as the Knicks give up 21.7 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting to opposing point guards.

While his offense has slumped this season, it is fair to place part of that blame on the chemistry issues the Knicks have. With so many injuries, constant shuffling of the lineup occurred, which ruins continuity and cohesion. People will say that getting traded will just cause more chemistry issues, but Calderon has experience changing teams midseason; he was traded in the middle of the 2012-2013 season from the Toronto Raptors to the Detroit Pistons. In that instance, he actually saw his offensive efficiency rise, as he shot 52.7 percent from the field overall and an otherworldly 52.0 percent from the three-point line.

So while an argument could be made that Calderon is not yet over hill, and instead just suffering from the poor atmosphere and situation surrounding the Knicks, there is still one hurdle that stands in the way; his contract.

“Jose is the ultimate professional and he’s never going to demand to be traded. He’s disappointed by the way things are going, but he’s going to try to make it right. We’re aware the Knicks are in a state of transition and a trade is a realistic possibility because many teams are interested in Jose, but if a move happens it’s never going to be because we’re requesting it.” – Mark Bartelstein, Calderon’s Agent, to HoopsHype

Calderon is signed through 2017 and will be owed just over $15 million. That is a tough pill to swallow for most teams, especially for a player that is already 33 years old and would be nothing more than a stop gate for a team, much like he was expected to be for the Knicks.

Because of the contract he is carrying, the Knicks would more than likely need to add something to any deal to sweeten the pot, much like they did pairing Shumpert with Smith. What else do the Knicks have to pair with Calderon though?

The last attractive piece on the team is probably Tim Hardaway Jr. His efficiency has been down with extended playing time, but he has a lot more on his plate than he or the Knicks thought he would ever have in his sophomore season. He has had some positives though, as he has finally begun expanding his offensive game to more than just a jump shooter. He also is not has horrible as a defender as he was last season, and he is starting to do more than just score the basketball when he is on the court.

While it would be hard to imagine the Knicks trading Hardaway Jr., as we saw Monday, no player is unmovable. If the right deal came along for Calderon and Hardaway Jr. needed to be involved, you can 100 percent expect Jackson and the Knicks to listen and give it serious thought.

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As for attaching a draft pick along with Calderon, there is a slim chance of that as well. That is because the Knicks use draft picks like candy on Halloween; they hand them out to anyone who wants. Their 2016 first round pick is already en route to Toronto courtesy of the Andrea Bargnani trade, so they cannot trade a first round pick until 2018. The CBA is the only thing saving the Knicks from themselves, as it does not allow teams to trade first round draft picks in back-to-back years.

And forget about second round picks. The Knicks owe second round picks it seems to half the NBA, as they do not have one until 2019, which they acquired from the Cavaliers in the trade Monday night. If not for that, the Knicks wouldn’t have a second round pick until next decade.

While it will not be easy, the Knicks will more than likely try to move Calderon sooner than later. The full roster strip down has begun, and if there is someone willing to take on Calderon the Knicks will not hesitate to move him, even if it doesn’t return much in the way of assets because the clearing of the cap space is truly what the Knicks are after.

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