At 35, Jose Calderon doesn’t factor into the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers’ plans—immediately or otherwise. And while there have been no reports to date that the team is working on buying out the final year of his contract, FOX Sports’ Chris Broussard implied it’s a possibility, and that Calderon could end up with the reigning-champion Cleveland Cavaliers:
If Lakers waive Jose Calderon, don't be surprised if he ends up in Cleveland.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) January 9, 2017
Calderon is on the books for $7.7 million this season and remains buried behind the Lakers’ glut of guards. He hasn’t played since Dec. 3, making him the perfect buyout candidate.
The Cavaliers are in the market for another playmaker to back up Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, and Calderon’s court vision is strong. If Cleveland can overlook his rampant defensive warts, he fills a real void.
The Cavaliers technically don’t need to wait for Calderon to be bought out. If they really want him, they can dangle a trade exception and a second-round pick. But absorbing the entirety of Calderon’s salary would have serious luxury-tax implications. Plus, Calderon isn’t Kyle Korver; the Cavaliers aren’t giving up actual assets for his services.
Expect Cleveland to surf the free-agent ranks or wait out the buyout market leading into the trade deadline. The odds of them using an exception on a point guard diminish when you realize Calderon is the type of acquisition that’s out there.