UPDATE: Jose Calderon has officially been waived. Terms of the buyout were not released, but the team issued a press release confirming the move. Calderon must clear waivers before he would become a free agent who could sign with any team. It is believe he will sign with the Warriors once that occurs. Read below for my original analysis when this was being reported as possible
Even though the trade deadline has come and gone, the Lakers may not be done changing their roster construct. ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Lakers and Jose Calderon are discussing the potential of a buyout. From Stein’s report:
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jose Calderon has emerged as a potential candidate to join the NBA’s annual March buyout market, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears.
As Stein notes, the deadline for when players need to be released in order to be playoff eligible for a different team is this upcoming Wednesday. Players don’t need to be signed to their new team by that point, but they must be released. For the Lakers and Calderon, it may be mutually beneficial for them to find common ground simply because Calderon is not a rotation player and the Lakers may be better off with an open roster spot to pursue their own additions before the season ends.
What might those options be? Well, there’s always street free agents — guys like, potentially, Calderon — who are either currently not employed or will be in the coming days. There’s also G-League call ups, not only from the D-Fenders but from other rosters who the team may want an extended look at.
A few names to watch are former Laker Anthony Brown (who is a street free agent) and, from the D-Fenders Vander Blue (their leading scorer), David Nwaba (a sort of “power” wing who scores and rebounds well, but is not a shooter), or even Julian Jacobs (who was with the Lakers in training camp). There’s also Larry Sanders (who the team met with a couple of weeks ago), but I doubt anything happens on that front. None of these names are sexy or exciting (save Sanders), but the Lakers should still be looking at all their options for players who might be able to compete for a roster spot/training camp invite next season and we all know Calderon (like Huertas who has already been moved) is not that guy.
Getting back to Calderon, should the buy-out actually happen, Stein notes that the Warriors and Rockets have shown some interest. There was also a rumor earlier in the season that the Cavs were interested in the Spaniard, but with Deron Williams also potentially being bought out, they may have more interest in him than Calderon. In any event, though, it looks like Calderon will not be unemployed for long.