John Lucas III may play a major role in how the Raptors point guard situation plays out. If he can play well in the pre-season and gain the confidence of his coach it might mean that Jose Calderon becomes expendable. The focus has been Lowry taking over the starting role which has still not been made official quite yet. If Lucas can show he could be a capable and reliable back-up point guard that might free up the Raptors to make a move with Calderon.
NBA’s Pro Basketball Talk has an interview they translated where Calderon himself admits to the fact he could well be traded. This was done in Spanish which was the same way Calderon declared his desire to be a starter when he was a free agent.
I had written in the Bleacher Report that the pairing of Calderon and Lowry could not last for a long time. It appears the signs that could be the case are already starting to appear. So if Lucas can establish the he is capable of playing the back-up role it might just be the green light the Raptors need.
At Media Day everyone was saying all the right things in terms of the point guard situation. I would expect this will continue. The first test to how this will all work is coming when Lowry is named the starter. I would think that all will be fine as everyone sees this coming.
What seems to have been forgotten is, that even Colangelo in the summer admitted that Calderon was not happy about the Raptors obvious moves to replace him over the summer. It will always be a story for the rest of the season if Calderon is truly happy to be here. If Kyle Lowry can find a level of comfort having him around in the background.
The easiest solution to the problem the Raptors will not admit they have, is for John Lucas III to play well and show that Jose Calderon is not required. On paper the Raptors have some of the best depth in the NBA. In reality they have two point guards that see themselves as the starter.
Sure Jose Calderon is going to do and say all the right things. He is, as has been stated over and over a team guy on the surface. When you go beyond that you have to question how Calderon feels and how that will impact on his play and this team going forward.
Lucas like Lowry is a fit with Coach Casey. Lucas sees the similarities in his coach now from his last stop in the NBA under Tom Thibadeau in Chicago. T.J Ford fans would find it quite ironic that one of Ford’s best friends would ultimately be one of the reasons that Calderon finally is finished with the Raptors. There would be some kind of delightful irony in that.
Aside from that Calderon has become a square peg in a round hole as far as the Raptors go. It is expanded beyond his obvious lack of defensive skills. The Raptors desire to play an up-tempo style of transition offense clearly is not something that suits Calderon either.
The Raptors will likely start the season with Kyle Lowry the starter, Jose Calderon his back-up and Lucas III as the third man on the depth chart. How long that lasts will be the major question. What also is a question to be answered is what the Raptors will want for Calderon. How long the Raptors can keep everyone happy will dictate how picky and choosy they can be in looking to move Calderon.
If the Raptors some how still see Jose Calderon in a Raptor uniform by the end of the season it will be a surprise. In the end Jose Calderon would likely walk away for nothing. Some that think he could re-sign in this reserve role for Raptors are drinking some serious kool-aid. The Calderon era is over it just a matter of when the exact date will be that we put on the piece of paper.