The Los Angeles Lakers went into the NBA’s free agency period determined to make moves, acting quickly to bring Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to their young team. They also re-signed guard Jordan Clarkson, and drafted Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac.
However, their job wasn’t quite done yet, with the team still needing a backup point guard to spell D’Angelo Russell and Clarkson. They preferred to find a veteran who could act as a mentor to their young players and help keep the offense organized, and it now appears that they have found their man.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Lakers have acquired guard Jose Calderon in a trade with the Chicago Bulls:
Chicago has traded guard Jose Calderon to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 7, 2016
The 34-year-old Calderon has played 11 seasons in the NBA, most recently with the New York Knicks. He was recently sent to Chicago as part of the deal that landed Derrick Rose in New York. The Bulls suddenly found themselves in need of cap space when Dwyane Wade informed them he would be leaving the Miami Heat to head home to the Windy City, and the Lakers were able to jump in and snag Calderon.
According to Mike Bresnahan of Time Warner Cable SportsNet, there are no other players involved in the deal, but the Lakers will receive two second-round picks:
Lakers will get two future 2nd-round picks from Chicago while giving up rights to an undetermined player (someone likely drafted long ago.)
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 7, 2016
Calderon has developed a reputation as a steady point guard who rarely makes mistakes. He should fit right into Coach Luke Walton’s offense, where he can orchestrate the action and get the ball to the right people at the right time. Calderon also shoots 41 percent from three, which will be a plus for the Lakers, who were dead last in three-point shooting last season.
Unfortunately, this deal could very well mean the end of Marcelo Huertas’ time in Los Angeles. The flashy point guard had hoped to return to the Lakers, but with Calderon in the fold, his skills would largely be superfluous.