The Los Angeles Lakers may have lost Friday night’s game against the Utah Jazz, but Saturday brought some positive news. Not only is Brandon Ingram likely to play on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder after a scare with his knee, but veteran point guard Jose Calderon will also be ready to go.
The crafty Calderon has been out of action with a calf strain for the last few weeks and could be a welcome addition to the Lakers’ second unit. Lakers reporter Mike Trudell broke the news that Calderon is now ready to play:
Luke Walton said he expects to have Jose Calderon ready to make his debut tomorrow, after two missed games with his calf strain.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 29, 2016
The Lakers added the 35-year-old Calderon last July in a deal with the Chicago Bulls that also brought two future second-round picks. The Bulls had to clear Calderon’s contract off their books to make room for Dwyane Wade, and were willing to part with a couple of minor assets in order to use the Lakers’ cap space. Just weeks earlier, the Bulls had acquired Calderon from the Knicks as part of the Derrick Rose trade.
Throughout his career, Calderon has hung his hat on steady, mistake-free play from the point guard position. He excels at organizing the offensive end of the floor but age has taken its toll on his defense, which was never top notch to begin with.
For the Lakers, however, Calderon could be the perfect cure for what ails them. Their second unit is filled with springy athletes like Tarik Black, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson, but they can struggle offensively when non-shooter Marcelo Huertas runs the point due to a lack of spacing.
Calderon may not be as dynamic of a creator as Huertas is, but he is a 41 percent three-point shooter for his career, which could go a long way towards spreading the floor for Los Angeles. Coach Luke Walton is also committed to giving Ingram some minutes at backup point guard as well, so the Lakers reserves should see their bogged down offense improve against Oklahoma City.