Calderon reportedly wants to be traded from Raptors

Can you blame Raptors’ Jose Calderon for not wanting to play behind new starting guard Kyle Lowry...

Can you blame Raptors’ Jose Calderon for not wanting to play behind new starting guard Kyle Lowry this season? Not really. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters file photo)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 PM ET

LAS VEGAS - Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo wasn’t saying much on Thursday, but according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Jose Calderon’s agent Mark Bartelstein has informed Colangelo that the veteran guard would prefer to be moved.

With Kyle Lowry the clear-cut starter and point guard of the future, Calderon would be shifted back to a reserve role, similar to when T.J. Ford was healthy.

Along with starting, during his six seasons in Toronto, Calderon has backed up Ford, Mike James and at times, Jarrett Jack, but has outlasted them all, despite almost being moved to Charlotte in a package centred around Tyson Chandler.

According to the report, the Raptors are working with Calderon, who has a valuable expiring contract and is coming off of a solid season, to find a new home for the longest-serving Raptor.

Toronto can package Calderon with other assets to upgrade at small forward.

Philadelphia swingman Andre Iguodala and Memphis small forward Rudy Gay remain ideal targets.

Failing that, the team would prefer to send the Spanish national team starter to a franchise that would not be sending much — or any — salary back, keeping Colangelo’s options to upgrade elsewhere flexible.

According to ESPN, Dallas had interest in Calderon, but recently traded for Darren Collison, which makes a move there far less likely.

Chicago could use a temporary replacement for the injured Derrick Rose, but is eager to cut, not add salary.

SUMMER FUN

The lockout put the kibosh on pre-season and summer league basketball a year ago, but basketball has returned to Sin City and so have the Raptors.

With prized rookie Jonas Valanciunas absent due to Olympic commitments with Lithuania, fellow freshman Terrence Ross and third-year power forward Ed Davis will be watched most closely by the Toronto brass.

The action tips on Friday, but Ross has already made a favourable impression with the Raptors staff, particularly head coach Dwane Casey.

“He’s making shots. I’m impressed with his defensive approach. He’s a little bit ahead of the curve as far as rookies are concerned,” Casey said.

Others have been intrigued by the Washington product’s combination of top tier athleticism with solid shot-making.

Ross is anxious to get started and said he is feeling more comfortable after every practice.

“The first day I was getting used to the speed of the game, now I’m picking everything up and it’s just retaining the information.”

Ross said veterans like DeMar DeRozan (in Vegas with the USA Select team that scrimmages against the Olympic squad), Ed Davis and Ben Uzoh are helping him break down the pro game and making life easier for him.

Ross believes Casey will be a good fit as his coach.

“He’s a great mentor. He really teaches how the game is played,” Ross said.

“He pushes us, he stays on us, that’s good, especially for a young guy coming to the NBA trying to learn new defensive rules and principles. He does a really great job teaching.”


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