According to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com, the Pistons can still avoid paying the luxury tax this season with a bit of maneuvering:
Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
Even with the Jose Calderon $1.5M cap hit, Detroit can still stay under the tax and sign second round picks, Bruce Brown and Khyri Thomas. Removing the $1.6M non-guaranteed of Dwight Buycks would have the Pistons under by $1.8M. The first year salary for both would be $838K.
Rod Beard of the Detroit News added more context to the signing:
Calderon, 36, averaged 4.5 points and 2.1 assists in 16 minutes per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, appearing in 57 games. The veteran guard previously played for the Pistons in the 2012-13 season and has played for seven teams in his 13-year career.
If the Pistons don't make some trades, however, playing time could be limited for Calderon, with Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway, Ish Smith, Luke Kennard and Glenn Robinson III—who is reportedly signing a two-year, $8.3 million deal with the Pistons, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports—available in the backcourt.
Additionally, the team added rookie guards Bruce Brown and Khyri Thomas in this year's NBA draft.
But Calderon will add a veteran presence and experience behind Jackson on the depth chart at point guard. The move may be a head-scratcher for Pistons fans, but it could signal further roster alterations are on the way.