When the Los Angeles Lakers first started dealing with injury issues, one player who stepped up and played well was veteran point guard Jose Calderon. Head coach Luke Walton turned to the veteran when D’Angelo Russell went down with a knee injury, and Calderon provided solid playmaking and great shooting.
Unfortunately, Calderon would also go down to a strained hamstring that kept him out for 10 games. Despite now being active for the last four, Calderon has yet to see the floor.
Walton admitted to finding it difficult to get Calderon minutes since he’s returned, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“We’d love to find opportunities to get Jose out there,” Walton said. “If it comes, we’ll give it to him.”
Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson off the bench have caused a lot of issues for opponents so far this season, and Walton doesn’t want to break that up. Additionally, rookie Brandon Ingram also assumes a lot of ball-handling duties making it difficult to find even spot minutes for Calderon.
Walton also added that once Calderon does get back on the court, he will not have any restrictions:
Whenever Calderon gets out there, Walton said he will have “no restrictions. Yet, Walton said he will proceed cautiously with Calderon, whom the Lakers acquired last offseason from Chicago for cost-cutting purposes.
The good news for Walton is that Calderon is a true professional who will be ready when his number is called.
Calderon isn’t the flashiest player, but he is incredibly consistent and gives the Lakers a veteran presence when he is on the floor. He averaged six points and 3.7 assists as a starter while shooting over 42 percent from three-point range.
With the Lakers backcourt all healthy now, minutes will continue to be hard to come by for Calderon, but Walton seems intent on finding him some spot minutes in some form.