After going through two failed solutions for a backup point guard to Dennis Schroder, Atlanta acquired veteran guard Jose Calderon on March 4, 2017. Calderon’s 2016-17 season was filled with ups and downs as the Hawks was the third NBA roster he appeared on during the regular season. On June 22, 2016, Calderón was traded, along with Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez, to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round draft pick. On July 7, he was traded again, this time with two future second-round picks to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the rights to Ater Majok. On December 5, 2016, he was ruled out for two to four weeks with a right hamstring strain. On February 27, he was waived by the Lakers.
Calderon was about to play for the Golden State Warriors; however, simultaneously their star small forward Kevin Durant suffered what many viewed at the time as a possible season ending injury and with Durant missing time, Golden State wanted to pursue another option to fill the small forward position so the Warriors would waive the 14 year veteran after one day.
After signing with the Hawks, Calderon appeared in 17 games in which he averaged (3.6) points per game, (2.2) assists per game, and (1.9) rebounds per game. Although his numbers didn’t show his impact, Calderon finally gave the Hawks some veteran insurance to relieve Dennis Schroder during the games. Calderon’s breakout game was during Atlanta’s 107-90 victory at the Memphis Grizzlies in which he posted (14) points, (3) rebounds, and one assist. Also, he was 4/6 from the field and knocked down 3 three point shots in the victory. Other notable regular season games where Calderon was solid was in the Hawks 114-100 victory at Cleveland and in a loss against the Indiana Pacers. Against Cleveland, he posted (7) points, (7) assists, and (4) rebounds & in the regular season finale, Calderon posted (12) points, (5) assists, and two rebounds.
In the playoffs against Washington, there wasn’t a more memorable moment of his short lived stint with the Hawks than Game 4. In the 111-101 victory to tie the series at 2-2, Calderon posted (10) points, (5) assists, and (2) rebounds providing the team with a much needed lift whenever Dennis Schroder took a break. Although he wasn’t here for long, the Hawks needed the veteran guard for Coach Bud’s scheme and personally, I’d like for him to return for another year or two. Calderon provides the insurance at guard and can operate the offense as well, he provided relief after the Hawks lost Jarrett Jack due to injury and Malcolm Delaney wasn’t 100% prepared for NBA basketball after spending years overseas. It will be very interesting to see if the Hawks front office is willing to keep him around a little longer, no matter the decision… Thanks for the memories, Jose!
Calderon’s Season Grade: C-
Nathan Butler Jr. (@ATLSportsNate)