After two years of managing an awkward platoon at the point with Jose Calderon
and T.J. Ford, the Toronto Raptors
chose between the two just before the draft by sending Ford to the Indiana Pacers as the headliner of the package that brought Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto. The other aspect of that decision was a new five-year deal for Calderon.
stands with any point guard in the NBA. Last year, he took efficient play to an extreme. His 5.38 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked fifth in NBA history, and Calderon
paired it with a 60.7 percent True Shooting Percentage. The list of point guards who combine those skills is pretty much Calderon
and Steve Nash. That's it.
has posted poor adjusted plus-minus ratings the last two years. In 2007-08, he rated as having an impact of -5.47 points per 100 possessions for the Raptors. Looking at the numbers, I wonder if Darrick Martin's limited playing time affected how adjusted plus-minus viewed the Toronto point guards. Martin, the team's third point guard, was +47 in 141 minutes of play, an extraordinary fluke season that made Calderon's performance look pedestrian in comparison. That fluke aside, the adjusted plus-minus reflects Calderon's poor defense. Fortunately, in Jermaine O'Neal the Raptors
have added a premier shot-blocker behind him. That defense limits Calderon's value, but he's an All-Star-caliber point guard and a perfect fit for the Raptors' pick-and-roll-heavy offense. The chance to be Toronto's full-time starter should bring Calderon
more accolades in 2008-09.
Davis is 29, and given his history of back problems, I'm not sure he'll age particularly well. That's enough to knock him below Calderon
in my ranking of point guards, though he remains a strong runner-up. Davis is a legitimate star who, like new teammate Marcus Camby, made my All-NBA Third Team at the end of the season. Players like that rarely change teams, so for the Clippers to add Davis is a coup, even if it was overshadowed by Elton Brand's subsequent departure.