We've heard murmurs throughout the summer regarding the potential departure of Jamal Crawford, although things had fallen quiet until a new round of rumors surfaced earlier this week. The New York Knicks and Miami Heat are among the teams said to be interested in acquiring the 35-year-old scoring wing, but are either of them a match for what the Clippers are looking to take back in a trade?
While I wouldn't mind it if the Clips were able to nab Josh McRoberts in exchange for Crawford (they do have a man-bun quota to fill now that Spencer Hawes has been jettisoned into the sun), Lucas Hann has already broached that topic here. Another name mentioned as a possibility for the Clippers is Knicks point guard Jose Calderon. Might there be real legs to this one? Jose seems to think so.
Hey!!! Wake up!!!!!!! https://t.co/EArVoW9cz5— jose manuel calderon (@JmCalderon3) August 19, 2015
Honestly, if the Clippers wanted anything of real substance in a trade centered around Crawford, they probably already missed their opportunity. Nothing against Jamal, of course, but he's 35, struggled with injuries last season and endured one of the worst shooting seasons of his career (39.6% from the field, 32.7% from three). Considering he gives you very little outside of scoring, the idea that he may not be able to score at a high level anymore is a little worrisome.
New York famously acquired Calderon (and his hefty salary) along with a few other spare parts and draft picks in exchange for Tyson Chandler last summer. Calderon didn't exactly enjoy a career-year with the Knicks, but he was only fit for 42 games due to an Achilles injury. In the time he was on the court, the 33-year-old contributed 9.1 points and 4.7 assists per game on excellent 41.5% shooting from deep.
How's the potential fit with L.A.? If the Clippers were to pull the trigger on a Crawford-for-Calderon (plus C.J. Wilcox, due to salaries) deal, one would imagine the Spanish guard would slide in as the No. 2 PG behind Chris Paul. Calderon's best days may be in his rearview mirror, but he's clearly still capable of running an offense and knocking down the longball.
The main hangup here might be Calderon's contract. He's got two years remaining on a deal he initially inked with the Dallas Mavericks back in 2013, and will earn well over $7 million per year through the 16-17 season. That's quite the financial commitment to an older guy that may not play more than 15 minutes a night and probably couldn't stay in front of a stationary chair on defense. However, he remains a steadying presence on offense that also helps space the floor. You can never have enough shooting, you know.
Unless the ultra-confident Austin Rivers has magically improved a ton during the offseason, Calderon would likely still be an upgrade at the position over he and Pablo Prigioni. Not to torment ourselves with this miserable hypothetical, but I think I'd feel quite a bit more comfortable with Calderon running the show in the event of a Chris Paul injury.
The Clippers' championship window is wide open right now, which means age may not be a major factor when it comes to adding periphery pieces around the young core of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and CP3. Given how quickly the Crawford trade market seems to have dried-up, can the Clippers do any better than Jose Calderon?