- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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It’s far from Chris Paul, but the Mavs made a major upgrade at point guard.
With Jose Calderon running the show, there won’t be any worries this season about the primary decision-maker’s lack of basketball IQ during crunch time. He has the sort of savvy the Mavs missed so much after Jason Kidd's departure last summer. This crosses one major priority off the Mavs’ offseason list.
Calderon, who has career averages of 7.2 assists and only 1.7 turnovers per game, will make sure that Dirk Nowitzki gets the ball in the right spots at the right time on a consistent basis. He’ll make teams pay for giving him open looks, as evidenced by his career shooting percentages (48.3 FG, 39.9 3s, including a league-best 46.1 from 3-point range last season).
Calderon will also serve as a mentor for rookie point guards Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel as they compete for backup minutes.
But Calderon, who sources say agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal, has flaws. He’s limited athletically, so he’s not a creator offensively and is a defensive liability.
If the Mavs are going to be a decent defensive team with Calderon playing heavy minutes, they better get a center who can protect the rim.
Hey, is it too late to get Dwight Howard to change his mind about Dallas?! Just kidding. We think. No, really, we’re sure the Dwight ship has sailed on the Mavs.
With Calderon on board, the Mavs have approximately $10 million in cap space, although they could create more via the trade market. The search for that big man should now be the Mavs’ top priority.