Veteran point guard Jose Calderon is reportedly on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Mark Medina of the LA Daily News confirmed the report and added details on the trade. Per Medina, the Lakers will also receive two future second-round draft picks and will give up rights to an undetermined player.
Lakers will get two future second round picks from Bulls and will give up rights to an undetermined player — Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 7, 2016
The trade is linked to the bigger news of the day, which involved an unlikely signing: Dwyane Wade with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls recently traded away hometown kid Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in a trade that included Calderon.
Wade, who grew up in Chicago, now returns home, and the Lakers helped facilitate the trade by absorbing Calderon's $7.7 million salary. Calderon will be 35 years old by the start of the 2016-17 season and should only serve as a backup for LA. Along with yielding future draft picks, Calderon's contract expires at the end of the 2016-17 season, so LA will not be saddled with a big long-term bill that tied up salary cap space in a year's time.
While Calderon's trade makes sense in terms of asset acquisition, it hardly serves to make the Lakers a playoff team, let along a championship contender. Acquiring a 34-year-old back-up point guard does not exactly scream postseason, and well, neither do the 13 players on the Lakers' roster.
The Lakers appear to be fully in rebuilding mode with the focus on developing young talent. Taking on Calderon's expiring contract is another way to fill a roster spot with a player that is effectively a one year rental, similar to Jeremy Lin and Roy Hibbert in previous seasons. This move allows the team to maintain financial flexibility with an expiring contract but also doesn't improve the current roster in any lasting, meaningful manner.