LOS ANGELES — In a move that opens up a spot on the Lakers’ roster and allows a veteran point guard a chance to join a playoff team, the Lakers waived reserve guard Jose Calderon on Monday after negotiating a buyout.
It’s not immediately clear how the Lakers will fill a roster that currently stands at 14. Perhaps the Lakers sign free agent center Larry Sanders after a recent workout. Or maybe the Lakers sign a 10-day contract to another player. Meanwhile, it appears likely Calderon will join a playoff time once he clears waivers. The Golden State Warriors are among the teams interested in signing Calderon, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Players who are waived before March 1 can sign with a new team and be playoff eligible.
Calderon’s agent Mark Bartelstein said he and his client feel “very appreciative of the Lakers doing this,” while also crediting Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. Though Calderon averaged a career-low 3.3 points on 41.6 percent shooting in 12.2 minutes through 24 games and 11 starts, the Lakers valued Calderon for mentoring the team’s younger players.
“This is something we had gone to them and talked about since Jose wasn’t playing a bunch. There were teams we thought would be a good fit for him that are high-level playoff teams. We went to the Lakers, and I’m very appreciative of Magic doing this,” Bartelstein told Southern California News Group. “They liked having Jose around and thought he had a good influence in the locker room with the young guys. Magic wanted to keep him around for the season. Jose’s got a lot of basketball left in him and can play at a high level. But with the Lakers being in a rebuilding state, it didn’t make sense from a playing perspective.”
The Lakers acquired Calderon last summer from Chicago and took on the final year of his contract worth $7.7 million. The 35-year-old Calderon will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 season.