Yes, I'm talking about Jose Calderon. Don't get me wrong, Jose has a lot of things going for him:
- He's got good size at 6'3"
- He can shoot the ball (.491 FG%, .461 3PT%)
- He handles the ball well (7.1 AST and only 1.7 TO per game)
- He has a nice PER of 19.3
In fact, I'd say he's probably the second best unrestricted PG available in free agency this year. Further, as an unselfish player and a good distributor, he might fit perfectly in the Jazz's system.
So why should the Jazz stay away?
For starters, he's 31 years old and he made over $11,000,000 last year. I think he'll be looking for a long-term contract and probably won't be looking to take a pay-cut especially to come to a team that is stealth rebuilding.
Our core 4 plus Evans has an average age of 22 years old and, after next year, the Jazz will be in a position to start locking in these players on non-rookie salaries (i.e. the Jazz will have need of the cap space that they would be allocating to Jose).
A couple more things about Jose's age. First, he is not a great defender currently, and his defense is only going to continue to deteriorate from here. While Jose has a PER of 19.3, he is allowing opposing PG's to average a PER of 19.2 (i.e. he nets a PER of .1; contrast that with Big Al who's PER is 21.6 as a C and who allowed a PER of 17.3 at the C position for a net PER of 4.3). Clearly defense would be an issue here and, while the Jazz are used to opposing players breaking down their defense from the PG position, I think they could be better served avoiding another aging PG, especially if they are looking to start a youth movement.
If the Jazz are looking to make a splash in free agency, they might be better served going after someone like Jarrett Jack. Jack is two years younger than Calderon and has a PER of 16.6 and allows a PER of 12.9 (for a net PER of 3.7). He also shoots .404 from 3PT range and has an overall FG% of .452. Plus he is on a team that will have $74,000,000 committed to 12 players if all the players with player options choose to come back next year. That doesn't leave a whole lot of money to re-sign Jack even if he chooses to come back for around the $5,000,000 he was paid last year. Also, Jack is a strong 6'3" and averages 5.6 AST and 2 TOs a game.
If however, the Jazz are looking for bargain vets, here are some names that might be worth a look:
- Nate Robinson (5'9" and age of 28; PER of 17.8 and allows a PER of 16 for a net PER of 1.8; FG% of .433 and 3PT% of .405; averages 4.4 AST and 1.8 TO); salary last year was a little over $1,000,000
- Patrick Mills (6'0" and age of 24; PER of 15.1 and allows a PER of 17.1 for a net PER of (2.0); FG% of .469 and 3PT% of .400; averages 1.1 AST and .7 TOs); salary last year was a little over $1,000,000 (being able to sign him will depend on whether he takes his player option or not)
- AJ Price (6'2" and age of 26; PER of 12.5 and allows a PER of 13.4 for a net PER of (.9); FG% of .390 and 3PT% of .335; averages 3.6 AST and 1.1 TOs); salary last year was around $885,000
Before you laugh these last couple of bargain vets off; please consider what the Jazz had on their roster last year:
- Mo Williams (6'1" and age of 30; PER of 14.7 and allows a PER of 21 for a net PER of (6.3); FG% of .430 and 3PT% of .383; averages 6.2 AST and 2.7 TOs); salary last year was $8,500,000
- Randy Foye (6'4" and age of 29; PER of 11.8 and allows a PER of 15.1 for a net PER of (3.3); FG% of .397 and 3PT% of .410; averages 2 AST and 1.1 TOs); salary last year was $2,500,000
- Jamaal Tinsley (6'3" and age of 35; PER of 10.7 and allows a PER of 18.7 for a net PER of (8); FG% of .368 and 3PT% of .307; averages 4.4 AST and 1.6 TOs); salary last year was a little over $1,000,000
- Earl Watson (6'1" and age of 33; PER of 7.7 and allows a PER of 18.6 for a net PER of (10.9); FG% of .308 and 3PT% of .179; averages 4.5 AST and 1.8 TOs); salary last year was $2,000,000
It will be interesting to see how this off-season plays out PG wise; however, I would be surprised if the Jazz seriously pursue Jose.