In a move that was to be expected once the trade deadline came and went with Jose Calderon still on the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting the two sides are discussing a buyout.
Calderon was acquired as a veteran to help mentor the young Lakers and also as a means to land a couple extra second rounders from the Chicago Bulls, who were looking to shed salary.
He’s since fallen out of the rotation, though has remained very professional throughout the season, as ESPN’s John Ireland mentioned on the “Locked on Lakers” podcast Jan 10.
To summarize Ireland’s thoughts, Calderon is so well-respected that if he asked the Lakers to buy him out or waive him, they would so he could compete, though they’d prefer (at the time, mind you — different front office back then) to keep him as he’s been so good with D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.
Stein also reports that the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors would be interested if the Lakers and Calderon come to an agreement.
The Lakers must buy out Calderon by Wednesday, Mar. 1 in order to be eligible for the playoffs with a new team.
If he is indeed bought out, we wish nothing but the best for Calderon. While his actual basketball efforts were nothing to write home about, professionalism is always worth acknowledging.