Jose Calderon Pairing Should Benefit the Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Howard Pursuit
Update: July 5, 8:40 p.m.
With Howard heading to the Rockets, the Calderon pairing in Dallas is highly unlikely unless a drastic change in Howard's plans. Howard has yet to release an official statement on the move to Houston.
Jose Calderon rumors of pairing up with Dwight Howard should benefit the Dallas Mavericks chances at landing the big man. Calderon and Howard are indeed interested in playing on the same team.
HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy confirms their mutual interest on Twitter:
I'm told Dwight Howard and Jose Calderon are interested in playing together. Calderon may wait for Howard to make a decision before signing.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 5, 2013
From the first day of free agency, the Mavericks have shown interest in Calderon, a free-agent point guard from Spain.
Of the five teams that met with Howard, the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have been previously linked to Calderon before the meetings took place.
Ken Berger of CBS first mentioned the Rockets interest in the Spaniard on June 30 via Twitter:
Another possible landing spot for Jeremy Lin is Detroit, source says. Rockets would acquire Jose Calderon in sign-and-trade in such a deal.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 1, 2013
Keep in mind, this was before Howard's first meeting with Houston on July 1. After the Rockets released almost all the details about the meeting, nothing about the pairing of Calderon and Howard came up. Instead, Howard asked the Rockets to add a third max contract.
As for the Hawks bringing in Calderon?
Atlanta would be a major dark horse. They currently have three point guards in place for next year's team, including Jeff Teague, who averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 assists last seasons, and this year's 17th overall pick Dennis Schroeder. The only move the Hawks have made this offseason has been to re-sign Kyle Korver to a four-year, $24 million deal.
What about the Los Angeles Lakers?
Well, Steve Nash was alongside Kobe Bryant during the latter's recent pitch to Howard, which reportedly could be a "compete turnoff" to the big man. But the Howard saga notwithstanding, Calderon to Los Angeles with Nash doesn't make sense. And now, reports of the Lakers conceding to a sign-and-trade foreshadows a Howard departure.
Now, the Mavericks.
The information that has previously been stated in this article suggests that Calderon's landing spot would be in Dallas. Because NBA veterans might be willing to take less to join a team headlined by Nowitzki and Howard, a Calderon connection could easily be in play.
Confirmed by MacMahon, Calderon would have to be a mid-level exception:
@ianchisolm Calderon would have to be MLE— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 5, 2013
It seems likely for Calderon, who turns 32 in September, to sign for less and play with Howard in pursuit of a championship.
One last note to consider: Calderon and Howard were never mentioned in the same sentence until after Howard's July 2 meeting with the Mavericks.
What team will Dwight Howard go to?
Is it possible that Cuban discussed bringing in Calderon and convinced Howard that they would be a good fit during the meeting? Has Howard already made up his mind to deflect any sign-and-trade rumors you might hear?
If Calderon officially agrees to sign with the Mavericks before Howard's announcement, Mavs fans might be shooting off post-July 4 fireworks in celebration of Howard to Dallas. Until then, it should be a very interesting and possibly bumpy ride.
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