BY PETER HOUSTON – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
They say every cloud has a silver lining, and the Toronto Raptors may have found theirs with the Kyle Lowry injury. Although he made his return quicker than expected (he played almost 30 minutes in Tuesday night’s 106-98 loss to the 76ers) the fortunate part about his injury for Toronto was their chance to showcase Jose Calderon. As you probably know, Calderon will be a free agent at the end of the season. With Lowry having a firm grasp on the starting point guard position, it is likely Calderon will seek greener pastures. Unless the Raptors can deal him first.
This is why the Lowry injury was such a blessing in disguise. It gave Calderon the chance to step in as the starter and prove to other teams that he can still perform. And oh boy, he can still perform.
In his seven games as a starter, he’s averaged 12.9 points and 11.9 assists per game. Even with Lowry back last night, he put up 13 and 12. It’s not that anyone doubted Calderon’s ability because he lost his starter’s job to an excellent player in Kyle Lowry, but playing to this level when given the chance only improves his value.
Sure he’s still got his flaws, specifically everything on the defensive side of the ball, but his vision and passing ability on offence are something a lot of players don’t have.
The question becomes: who wants him?
There aren’t many playoff teams out there looking for a mid-season boost with a need at the point guard position. The ones that immediately come to mind would be Indiana, Atlanta and maybe Utah (although Mo Williams is having somewhat of a bounce back year).
The Raptors have needs just about everywhere besides the point guard position. Their biggest need in my opinion is a 3/4 type guy who can play defence and rebound. Someone to stick on the other team’s best scorer at that position and grab some boards as well. Jonas Valanciunas has done reasonably well in limited minutes on the glass, but that’s about it. Before going down with his injury, Lowry was leading the team in rebounds. Enough said.
If Tuesday night is any indication, the Raptors will probably allow the Calderon showcase to continue. He and Lowry played together for most of the game instead of them replacing one another. And even though Bryan Colangelo didn’t exactly buy low on Calderon, it’s time for him to sell high.
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