Trade Thoughts

Any time there’s a trade during the season in the NBA, it shocks the system of everybody who’s a part of the basketball family. The shock waves go all the way through upper management. There are any number of reasons why the guy you trade for can help an organization both on and off the basketball court, but there’s always some sense of loss for a team when an important player is traded away.

It’s obvious that Tayshaun Prince, who has spent his entire career here and won a championship here and made some unbelievable plays to help the Pistons to their 2004 title and two trips to the Finals and six trips to the conference finals, was very readily identified with this franchise and this fan base.

But it’s almost inevitable that veteran players are moved. There has even been talk that Paul Pierce could be traded by the Celtics. That’s the nature of the business. It can be painful for a lot of us and for the player, but they signed up for that.

I would hope our fans would welcome Jose Calderon here. Here’s another guy who has spent his entire career with one team. It’s hard for me to even imagine Jose Calderon not playing for the Toronto Raptors, just like it’s hard to imagine Tayshaun Prince not playing for the Pistons.

But, believe me, once the fans see what Jose Calderon can do and what a pure point guard he is – he may be the purest in the entire league – they’ll warm up to him in a big hurry. And I hope they do, because it’s going to be a difficult transition for him, as well.

Any team that has Jose Calderon is going to operate very efficiently on the offensive end. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen a heck of a lot sooner than you think. This guy is all about running your offense as efficiently as humanly possible. And all he wants to do is get his teammates good shots.

He’ll take a shot when it’s absolutely necessary. He’s a heck of a shooter and a great free-throw shooter. He could shoot it more and there might be nights Lawrence Frank wants him to, but for the most part he is going to turn on the light for the Pistons on offense.

There have been games that have gotten away lately that might look like it’s been the fault of the defense, but when you can’t score after getting a stop and you’re fighting from behind a little bit, suddenly you find yourself fighting from behind by double digits. I don’t think that will happen much once Jose Calderon gets there. The Pistons’ offense will operate with a high degree of efficiency and they’ll be that much more fun to watch.

We’ve loved the lob dunks from Will Bynum to Andre Drummond and Will has some great pure point guard instincts, too, although he’s got a scorer’s mentality. You’ll see more of the same from Jose Calderon in setting up Andre and his other new teammates.

I think he’s the kind of player that, despite his expiring contract and maybe the thought that we’ll keep him or maybe we won’t, that he’s going to force the Pistons to think long and hard over the summer and look at their options – and he’ll be one of them.

In the end, those of us who have known Tayshaun all these years and know what a fine person he is have to thank him for all his hard work and I’ll miss him personally. I know he’ll make big plays in the postseason for Memphis – that’s why they got him. But life goes on in the NBA.

I’m excited that Jose Calderon is coming here. He’s really one of the best players that maybe the average fan doesn’t know enough about. Stay tuned – you’re really going to like him.