Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon handles the ball against the Lakers on Nov. 8, 2015.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Latest Laker: José Calderón

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

The Lakers brought in some experience via a trade with Chicago that netted them 11-year veteran José Calderón, as well as two future second-round draft picks.

The 34-year-old is coming off of his second season with New York and ranked 10th in the NBA in 3-point percentage last year (41.1).

The sweet-shooting Spaniard looks to boost Los Angeles’ spacing, as he also tied Nikola Vucevic for the NBA’s seventh-best clip on jumpers by hitting 43.9 percent (minimum 400 attempts).

Calderón has always boasted an enviable stroke, leading the league in 3-point percentage in 2013-13 (46.1) and ranking fourth the next year (44.9). He also shot 151-of-154 at the free throw line in 2008-09, cementing a 98.1 percent mark that is the best in NBA history.

“Not only is José an elite shooter, he is also an established and versatile player whose skill and professionalism will supplement the talent on our roster,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.

Calderón started in all 72 of his appearances for the Knicks last year, but averaged his fewest points (7.6) since his rookie year, and a career-low in assists (4.2). He did, however, tally a career-high 3.2 rebounds per game.

Ironically, his top moment of the season came against his new team. On March 13, he took an 87-87 tie with the Lakers into his own hands by draining a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining.

In addition to that clutch moment, Calderón practically lived on the outside last year, rarely looking to score in the paint. He attempted only 45 layups all season, but made the most of those takes by hitting 64.4 percent of them.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is not known for his defense, and New York’s defensive rating was 3.7 percent worse with him on the floor. However, his capabilities on the other end made him a net positive thanks to his +4.4 offensive rating.

That measure speaks to his reputation for being able to organize an offense and make creative passes that has followed him throughout his career.

He spent four seasons among the NBA’s top five assist leaders (2007-09, 2010-12), and added four more among the top 10 in effective field goal percentage and offensive rating.

His 117.7 career offensive rating and 41.2 career 3-point percentage both rank 16th all-time, with the former standing at third among active players.

Calderón brings an array of NBA, European and international experiences to his new team.

He played in Spain from 1998-2005 before joining the Toronto Raptors for seven-plus years. At the end of the 2012-13 season, he was traded to Detroit, and spent the next year in Dallas. Since then, he played back-to-back campaigns with the Knicks.

Calderón, who has played both guard spots in his career, helped his home country to silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He was also a factor in Spain winning gold at Eurobasket 2011 and the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Calderón was traded from New York to Chicago on June 22 as part of the exchange for Derrick Rose. He was dealt again to the Lakers just two weeks later along with the pair of draft picks in exchange for the draft rights to Ater Majok, who was selected 58th overall in 2011 and played the past season in Poland.

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