While Jose Calderon allows his agent to worry about working out a buyout of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, Calderon is just operating as he normally would.
“Here it was great,” Calderon said. “The wins and losses, I totally understand what they’re trying to do. I’ve been here helping all these guys and it’s been fun. But I guess you’ve always got that thing inside you, I think I can still play a little bit. So just working hard and ready for whatever is the next chapter. But right now, like I said, there’s no next chapter yet.”
A buyout would have benefits for both Calderon and the Lakers. It would allow Calderon to catch on with a playoff team. The Golden State Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA, are reportedly interested in signing Calderon.
For the Lakers, a buyout would open a roster spot that they could use to sign players to 10-day contracts to evaluate them.
Calderon’s role has mostly been one of support for the Lakers. He has played limited minutes, except in case of injury. He has only played five minutes and 28 seconds in the month of February.
The Bulls traded Calderon to the Lakers in July. He is in the final year of a contract that he initially signed in 2013 with the Dallas Mavericks. It was a four-year deal worth $29 million. This season he will make $7.7 million.
Players who are bought out have until March 1 to sign with another team and still be eligible for the playoffs.
“Right now for me my thinking is on this, I know how the NBA works,” Calderon said. “I’ve been good here. I don’t know what happens. If something is happening we’ll talk about that.”
Calderon spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Toronto Raptors, staring in 2005. His past three moves have been due to trades. This summer he’ll become a free agent.
“I would like to get to 15 years,” Calderon said. “That was kind of like my number. This one and a couple of more. I feel great. I feel really good physically. I think I still can help and I can play minutes in teams. I will be a free agent this summer, too, to maybe choose a good situation.”
Pau Gasol was greeted warmly by Lakers fans when he checked into the game with four minutes and 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
He was a major part of why the Lakers won championships in 2009 and 2010, with teammate Luke Walton.
“We were a team that was building our way up from the post Shaq trade and we had gotten to the playoffs a couple times,” Walton said. “And as soon as we got Pau everything changed. We instantly became a championship contender. How quick he picked up the triangle offense really speaks to his intelligence as a basketball player.”
Part of what has made the Spurs such a consistently successful organization is their synergy between Coach Gregg Popovich and General Manager R.C. Buford.
Popovich was asked why the organization has been so stable.
“I’ve always thought it starts with ownership,” Popovich said. “I think owners who let people do their jobs end up being more successful in our business. … Ownership has allowed us to run the program. Keep them informed as we should. If that piece of the puzzle is in place, it becomes the synergy between management, coaches and players.
“At that point it’s about people. It’s about people hopefully have gotten over themselves, are comfortable in their own skin. Know how to maturely and objectively agree and disagree, and that’s totally dependent on people.”
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