Not many doubts remained after the Raptors traded T.J. Ford to the Indiana Pacers last week, but Jose Calderon confirmed the expected yesterday, when he inferred on his website that he will be the Raptors' starter at point guard for years to come.
"Early this morning, through my agents, I reached a preliminary agreement with the Toronto Raptors," Calderon wrote.
"I want to thank Bryan Colangelo, Maurizio Gherardini, Sam Mitchell and all of the Raptors family for the confidence that they have placed in me. I am sure that together we are going to achieve big things in the future."
Calderon was signed by former Raptor general manager Rob Babcock in August of 2005 and played decently his first two seasons, before emerging as a top-flight point guard in 2007-08, when he averaged 11.2 points, 8.3 assists and 1.1 steals.
Contractual details will be officially released July 9th, but the expected terms are around five years at $7.5-8.5 million US a season.
With Jermaine O'Neal set to pull in $22 million this year, the team has little money left over to fill its roster.
According to sources, 2005 second-round pick Roko Ukic, a 24-year-old, 6-foot-5 Croatian who can play either guard spot, will come over from Rome to back up Calderon, while the team will also add hard-nosed swingman Hassan Adams, to back up Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon.
Adams, a 6-foot-4, late second-round selection by the New Jersey Nets back in 2006, is undersized and extremely limited offensively, but is a relentless defender who attacks the passing lanes and is an excellent athlete.