Calderon a Go
New point guard’s visa issues resolved; he’s expected to play at NY
NEW YORK – The wheels of government got greased just fast enough to clear Jose Calderon in time to make his Pistons debut in the most famous arena in the world.
The Pistons announced early this afternoon that Calderon, acquired last week in a three-team trade that sent Tayshaun Prince to Memphis and brought Calderon over from Toronto, has been cleared after having visa issues that involved a Spanish citizen being transferred from a Canadian to a United States-based NBA team. The Pistons play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Those restrictions not only prevented Calderon from playing with the Pistons in their two games since completing the trade – home games with Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers – they also kept Calderon from practicing or working with Pistons trainers. But he traveled with the team after Sunday’s 98-97 loss to the Lakers and is expected to be in uniform for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Knicks.
“He’s not going to be able to practice with us, but he’ll be fine,” Frank said on Saturday. “He’ll have enough (of the playbook) and he’s eight years in the NBA. He’ll be a quick study.”
Frank said last week that once Calderon was ready to play, he would be the starting point guard with Brandon Knight starting at shooting guard. That would send Rodney Stuckey back to the second unit. Frank said he would consider playing Stuckey as the backup small forward to find sufficient minutes for his top four guards: Calderon, Knight, Stuckey and Will Bynum.
Kyle Singler, who moved from shooting guard to small forward to replace Prince in the starting lineup, has led the Pistons in minutes played since the trade. He logged more than 40 minutes in Sunday’s game after playing 37 against Cleveland.
Tonight’s game will air on FS Detroit with a 7 p.m. “Pistons Live” pregame air time, where the Calderon situation is sure to be discussed in detail. The radio broadcast will be on 97.1 FM The Ticket.