Raptors, Jose Calderon discuss deal
After ESPN.com reported Thursday that Calderon would welcome a trade after the arrival of Kyle Lowry to become the Raptors' new starting point guard, agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed Thursday night that he and Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo are "working together" to try to find a workable trade.
"There's a little bit of a logjam there in the backcourt now," Bartelstein said. "Bryan and I are talking and we're putting our heads together to see what we can do to find a solution."
Sources close to the situation say Calderon, while undeniably attached to the city of Toronto after spending his entire six-year NBA career there, is hoping the Raptors can find a trade home for him now that it's been made clear the Raptors have no plans to release the Spaniard through the NBA's amnesty clause.
The Raptors, sources say, are open to a trade but want to send Calderon to a team with salary-cap space that can absorb the Spaniard's $10.6 million salary, thereby creating a trade exception for Toronto and giving them added financial flexibility for further moves.
Sources say that the Raptors and Dallas Mavericks have discussed various Calderon trade scenarios this week. But the Mavericks, longstanding fans of Calderon, have put those talks on hold until they knows how much of their salary-cap space is needed to win the amnesty bidding for former Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand, who will be awarded to the highest bidder among teams with cap room when Brand clears waivers Friday at 5 p.m. following his amnesty release this week by the Sixers.
The Mavericks, sources say, also plan to lodge an amnesty bid for Argentinean forward Luis Scola if the Rockets go ahead with their reported plans to release Scola through the amnesty clause to clear additional salary-cap space to help facilitate a trade for Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard.
Dallas' need for another point guard, however, is not as drastic as it was before Thursday, when the Mavericks acquired Darren Collison from the Indiana Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal that sent center Ian Mahimni to Indiana. The Mavericks also remain in negotiations with free-agent guard Delonte West about returning for next season.
Colangelo, speaking Wednesday to the Toronto media to formally announce the Lowry trade, acknowledged that Calderon was "not thrilled" by the news that Lowry was coming in as Toronto's marquee newcomer following its attempts to win the Steve Nash sweepstakes in free agency.
Colangelo described Lowry as "the future of the position." But he praised Calderon's contributions to this point in Toronto, telling local reporters: "Jose has been a true professional in everything he's done for the organization. For now Jose is part of the team and we will welcome him back."
Colangelo added Wednesday that the Raptors had received "multiple inquiries" for Calderon, who is entering the final year of his contract.
The Raptors, though, could elect to keep Calderon for the short term if they can't find a trade partner with cap space. They could then either keep him to backup Lowry or playing alongside him before trying again to move him before the trade deadline in February.