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Pistons needn’t rush to re-sign Jose Calderon this summer

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

If the Pistons intend to bring back Jose Calderon – as they’ve said they do – then he would have a “cap hold” of 150 percent of his current salary, which would be approximately $16.5 million. It would then behoove the Pistons to get something done fast with Calderon so the cap charge would then revert to his first-year salary

If the Pistons are ready to make other moves predicated on having having cap room before re-signing Calderon, they can simply renounce him. Then, his cap hold, or free agent amount, will no longer count against the salary cap.

Why does Calderon count against the cap as a free agent? Larry Coon:

It closes a loophole. Teams otherwise would be able to sign other teams’ free agents using their cap room, and then turn their attention to their own free agents using the Bird exception. This rule restricts their ability to do that. It uses the player’s current status (type of free agent, whether coming off a rookie contract, and previous salary) as a rough guideline to predict the amount the player is likely to receive in his next contract, and sets that amount aside in the form of a cap hold. But while it functions as a rough guideline, it’s obviously not perfect — for example, in 2005 Michael Redd’s free agent amount was just $6 million, even though the Bucks intended to re-sign him for the maximum salary. By waiting to sign Redd last, the Bucks were able to take advantage of the difference by signing Bobby Simmons. Had they signed Redd first, they would not have had enough cap room to sign Simmons.

Renouncing Calderon won’t prevent the Pistons from signing him or sign-and-trading him, so it’s not a big deal. With minor exception, the Pistons won’t exceed the salary cap this offseason, so whether they re-sign Calderon or renounce him and then re-sign him will have practically no impact.

The only way renouncing Calderon could matter is contract length and annual raises. If the Pistons renounce him, they can offer only 4.5 percent raises rather than 7.5 percent (probably shouldn’t matter because teams offering a mid-level exception can offer just 4.5 percent, and Calderon probably doesn’t warrant more than that, anyway) and only five years rather than four (definitely shouldn’t matter for 31-year-old Calderon).


  • Mar 11, 20131:24 pm
    by tarsier


    That said, unless the Pistons are spending really big in free agency, his cap hold shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    • Mar 11, 20132:52 pm
      by G


      His cap hold is $16.5 million. He’s worth maybe $8M. That’s a HUGE difference, and it would cut the Pistons’ cap space from about $18.5M (if they re-sign him at $8M) to $10M. The numbers are a bit different if they amnesty Charlie V but assuming they don’t, that’s what it looks like if they don’t renounce him.

      • Mar 11, 20134:06 pm
        by tarsier


        I am optimistic that Detroit brass is not a bunch of total and complete nincompoops so they’ll make the insanely easy and obvious call to amnesty CV.

        And it is a big difference. My point was that he’ll probably be signed before the minor guys in free agency anyway. So it’s only the big names who will precede him. So unless Dumars manages to ink more than one really big name, his cap hold shouldn’t get in the way.

        Also, while I definitely don’t think Calderon is a $8M/yr player, I’m hoping that Dumars takes a page out of Presti’s book on Collison and gives Calderon a big signing bonus with real low per year numbers (unless of course there are great opportunities to be had this summer with the cap space, like signing CP3 and Millsap).

        And in that case, he might actually eat up basically the whole cap hold. Three years at $2M/yr with a signing bonus of $13M would be fantastic. And that pays Calderon pretty fairly: $19M/3 yrs. Especially if you consider he’s getting that money sooner. So that actually slightly increases it’s overall value.

  • Mar 11, 20132:54 pm
    by Jay


    It makes no sense to re-sign Calderon. He is no where near the player that Chauncey was. Not even close as a shooter, defender, scorer, or leader. And the pistons traded him away at the same age because of his contract. The last thing we want is Calderon eating cap space for the next 4-5 years. His D is never gonna get better, and he is only going to decline. I’d rather turn the reigns completely over to Knight and let him sink or swim and learn whether they need to invest in a another new young PG or if Knight can be the long term solution.

    • Mar 11, 20133:11 pm
      by G


      Knight already sunk as a PG. 

      I love Chauncey, but can you name a season where he was a better shooter than Calderon is now? The numbers you’re looking to beat would be a .479 FG% (Chauncey was never close), a .450 3P% (Chauncey’s best ever was .441), and .901 FT% (the only area Chauncey gets him).

      As far as being a better leader, how can you tell? This is a terrible Pistons team, and Calderon has only been here about a month.

      Lastly, the reason Joe D dealt Chauncey (I’m assuming) is because he appeared to be a diminishing player with an increasing salary, and Joe D wanted the cap space (which he then blew by giving Rip his atrocity of an extension).  What looks to happen this off season (again, I’m assuming) is Joe will re-sign Calderon with a contract that gets smaller as Calderon gets older. 

      • Mar 11, 20133:24 pm
        by sebastian


        “G,” it has been well documented, here at PP, that you think B. Knight is a better SG than he is a PG, but I have to agree with Jay, Joe should not waste money on an aging PG in the body of Jose Calderon and should continue to implore B. Knight either as the starting PG or the first guard off the bench.
        And, it is just straight-up blasphemy that a guy of your aptitude would suggest that Jose Calderon is anything near the quality of a PG that Chauncey was/is.
        Just my point-of-view … don’t allow yourself to get bent out of shape.

        • Mar 11, 20134:36 pm
          by tarsier


          Nobody said that Calderon is the same caliber of PG that Billups was. But he is a better shooter. It would be patently absurd to claim otherwise.

          More to the point, Billups was getting ~$12M/yr. People are talking about paying Calderon half to two-thirds of that.

          Also, in the past 5 years, we have gathered a ton of evidence that didn’t previously exist that PGs with certain kinds of games can age must more gracefully than assumed at the time that Billups was traded.

          Finally, most people think that getting rid of Billups was a mistake. And the argument presented for getting rid of Calderon is “if Billups wasn’t worth keeping, then Calderon definitely isn’t”. Really? That’s weak.

          I’m not dead set on Calderon. But the Pistons really should make the playoffs next year. That BG trade will sting so much more if it results in losing a lottery pick. 

      • Mar 11, 20135:03 pm
        by PistonFanSinceDay1


        No way should we re-sign Calderon. Don’t join the craziness G

        • Mar 11, 20135:17 pm
          by G


          Why is it crazy? Who’s going to play PG next season? And don’t say Knight, because THAT is crazy.

  • Mar 11, 20133:40 pm
    by G


    So you’re claiming that Chauncey was a better shooter than Calderon is, despite the numbers saying otherwise? Or do you think Chauncey was a more skilled passer? Because those arguments don’t hold water.

    Here’s where you might have an argument – when the Pistons’ offense stalled, Chauncey could get to the line. He would manufacture offense by taking his guy off the dribble & drawing contact. He was also a better defender, except against quicker guards. Remember when the Pistons went on that streak of holding opponents under 70 points, Chauncey was out with an ankle for most of that.  

    Again, PG is a need this off season. Knight had a year & 2/3 to show any aptitude for playing PG. He looks much more comfortable at SG. I think if we re-sign Calderon we probably won’t get him for more than 3 years anyway, so in that sense I agree that signing him for 4-5 years would be a mistake.

  • Mar 11, 20133:56 pm
    by RL


    Pistons need to resign Calderon. If Danny Granger is performing well after injury, they should consider trading for him.

    • Mar 11, 20135:38 pm
      by Big Rick


      I’ve been a Calderon supporter since day 1, but I can understand the concern about his age and his defense or lack of. But as was was mentioned he has they type of game that would allow him to age gracefully and it wouldn’t be a steep drop off at least in the next 3 to 4 years from one year to the next. To offset that, we draft a young stud at the PG (Trey Burke) and let him soak up some knowledge from Calderon for thenext year or two. Continue playing Knight off the ball, maybe sign Tyreke Evans or Aminu from the Hornets at the wing to add size.
      I’m not sold on Granger, especillay for the price he may ask for. He seems to be injury prone and kind of morphed into a jump shooter from an all-around scorer. Kind of soft to me, and doesn’t fit with the Pistons just my opinion. Rather sign Mayo, but if we’re going to play Knight at the shooting guard moving forward that may be a redundant move.
      Personally mydream off-season would be (Plan A has 000.1 % chance of happening but still)
      Plan A.

      1. Sign CP3
      2. Trade Monroe & Stuckey to Portlad for L. Aldrige
      3. Sign Al Fariq Aminu
      4. Draft Trey Burke or Best Player Available
      5. Sign Paul Milsapp

      *Note Amnesty Charlie V.

      Starting 5/Backup
      PG CP3/Burke/Bynum
      SG Knight/English
      SF Aminu/Singler/Middleton
      PF Aldrige/Milsapp
      C Drummond/Kratisov/Milsapp

      Playoff team, top 3 or 4 seed.

      Plan B

      1. Re-sign Calderon
      2. Trade Monroe & Stuckey for L.A.
      3. Sign Aminu/Reggie Evans
      4. Draft Trey Burke or BPA
      5. Sign Tyreke Evans

      Starting 5/Backup
      PG Calderon/Burke/Knight
      SG Knight/Tyreke
      SF Aminu/Singler/Middleton
      PF Aldridge/Evans
      C Drummond/Kratisov/Reggie Evans

      Playoff team 5-8 seed

      Plan C
      1. Resign Calderon
      2. Trade Stuckey, for any expiring contract or picks 1st rounder would be nice.
      3. Sign Milsapp, Aminu, Mayo
      4. Draft BPA (even if its a big man)
      5. Let Maxiell, Bynum, and Maggete walk

      Starting 5/Backups
      PG Calderon/Knight/Rook???
      SG Mayo/Knight/Rook???
      SF Aminu/Rook???/Singler
      PF Monroe/Milsapp/Rook???
      C Drummond/Rook???

      Potential playoff team. Would not be a lottery team. Which makes it very important to get this draft right because we will probably be giving our next 1st round pick to Charlotte with this squad.
      So many possibilities. I guess you can tell which free agents I like the most. Josh Smith use to be on that list but I’ve been wanting him for our squad the last 5 years. lol Not sure if he could play the 3 for us but if so that gives us a very formidable front line and would help hide Moose on D, same with Aminu. Just some thoughts…

      • Mar 11, 20136:51 pm
        by tarsier


        If the Pistons are going to trade Monroe, they really ought to be able to do better than Aldridge. Aldridge is an ever-so-slightly better player right now. But he is at his peak. Monroe will most likely still improve.

        But I like Aminu. He would be an excellent FA target. Mostly because I don’t think he’d cost much. Also, it would be nice to have a good perimeter defender. 

  • Mar 11, 20134:30 pm
    by Lamb Beer


    Completely for retaining Calderon.  Ideally 3yr/18M
    I’m also in favor of targeting Gerald Henderson for 4yr/20M range.  Can guard 1-3′s and hit a mid range jumper.  Let play on the court establish who starts and who comes off the bench between him and B. Knight.
    Will also be praying for some Otto Porter.

    • Mar 11, 20134:38 pm
      by tarsier


      Ouch. Henderson at $5m annually? I might offer him half that. But you can always get a decent wing for a couple million. No need to go to double that for a guy who is, at best, a competent wing.

      • Mar 11, 20135:11 pm
        by Lamb Beer


        Perhaps I’m overvaluing what I perceive as a safe investment. But after 5/58M for BG and 3 more years of Stuckey for 25M… I’d spend it.

  • Mar 11, 20134:35 pm
    by Corey


    Resign Calderon for 3 years, hopefully front-loaded.

    People need to realize that if we amnesty CV and cut Stuckey (only $4m guaranteed), the team can get their salary cap commitments for next year down to about $23m.  Then they could resign Calderon for $6-7m per year and STILL have in the neighborhood of $30m in cap space to work with. If they keep Stuckey and CV and turn that into enough money for one competent but not all-star level free agent, every fan should just write off next season before it starts. I know I won’t cough up for league pass to watch CV and Stuckey again.

    This off-season and thru next year’s trade deadline is the window to really improve the team. If they waste it, then next year an extension for Monroe kicks in and it’s too late.

    • Mar 11, 20134:43 pm
      by tarsier


      Exactly. Granted, if moves this offseason are made with big signing bonuses, the Pistons could still have some room to work with next offseason. But they will be a lot more limited. Monroe’s cap hold will be $10M. This summer, he’s only on the books for about $4M. Those $6M could easily be the difference between a below average starter and a borderline all-star.

  • Mar 11, 20136:45 pm
    by Jack


    I don’t know why so many people want to bring Calderon back. His career averages are 10 pts and 7 asts. Sure, he is a good facilitator on offense. But is the team really getting any better with him at the reigns? I would say just treading water at best. And obviously he is a huge defensive liability.
    Perhaps Knight is not the answer either. He doesn’t seem to have the natural court awareness. But how many guys do these days? In his defense, he had stuckey, singler and prince on the wings most of the time when he was at point. Not exactly guys who are going to help you rack up assists or take any pressure off.
    It’s disappointing that Joe Dumars, a hall of fame guard who played with another hall of fame guard, doesn’t seem to have a clue how on how to draft guards and use them. Let’s not forget he started by drafting Mateen. He traded Afflalo for nothing. He couldn’t figure out to use Stuckey but still extended him. Now, he’s in another potential mess with Knight. 

  • Mar 11, 20137:32 pm
    by picknroll


    I am concerned about the Pistons being able to add impact players with our cap space because of what is available and also JD’s track record.  I would rather try and trade assets for another 1st round draft pick and totally commit to a youth movement.  That would make Calderon too old by the time we were ready to contend and I think it would make sense to draft another point(NOT COMBO) guard and let him grow with the other youngsters.  Any veterans on the roster should be on or near minimum contracts.

  • Mar 11, 20138:33 pm
    by Steve


    Anyone think about MartelWebster??    Think he may be still a few years from his peak.  good  fg and ft     % ‘ s

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