Examining a player's medical history often starts with an extensive look at their personal demographics.
Jose Calderon is an eight-year veteran and will be 32 when the 2013-2014 Dallas Mavericks season starts. He's played in 553 regular-season games, compiling 15,796 minutes of court time. For comparison sake, that is nearly 4,500 less minutes than Chris Paul, a player that has played in 555 games during his eight seasons in the league. Unlike Paul, the total doesn't change drastically when you add Calderon's postseason numbers into the fold since he's only played in 11 career playoff games. However keep in mind he has been a key part of Spain's National team, putting extra wear-and-tear on his legs.
With the personal information presented, let's dive into Calderon's injury history. During his time with Toronto and Detroit, Calderon has been sidelined by injury for 79 total games. He's endured ankle sprains, stitches, and other minor bumps and bruises that are common in the NBA but the biggest cause for concern moving forward is the multiple lower leg injuries that have consistently limited the Spaniard.
The problems began after the 2007-2008 season when Calderon played in all 82 games for the only time in his career. He suffered a groin strain while playing for Spain and was limited in the Beijing Olympics. The injury appeared to have a carryover effect during the 08-09 campaign as he would miss 14 total games due to a reoccurring right hamstring strain.
Similar injuries would pop up over the next two seasons as Calderon missed 12 games in the 09-10 season with a left hip flexor strain and six more the following year with a hamstring strain on the same leg. Since then his legs have help up though he reported lingering hamstring tightness in last year's preseason.
While Calderon's avoided severe injuries, these lower extremity issues shouldn't be overlooked.
Muscular injuries in the legs, particularly hamstring strains, can easily become chronic problems. Muscle imbalances in one leg can lead to problems on the other side, which, given Calderon's history, could be in play here.
However the Mavericks have a major ace in the hole moving forward: athletic trainer Casey Smith. Smith is a well-respected AT who holds multiple certifications that allow him to identify and correct biomechanical problems. Smith was at the Dwight pitch table and surely is deeply involved in having given Calderson a passing grade here. His skill set would do wonders for Calderon and help him maximize his court time during his time in Dallas.
And when he's on the court?
Calderon has long on the Dallas Mavericks' wish list due to his Kidd-Lite BBIQ playmaking ability. He's got a career average of nine assists per 36 minutes and a 4.2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Calderon is a shooter (he led the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage last season at 46.1%) rather than a scorer. The 6-foot-3 Spaniard has career averages of 10.1 points and 7.2 assists per game. His defense is not good (having a defensive stud center behind him would help.) But the Mavs' were actually a sound defensive team last year and their top problem was their point guards' collective inability to get the ball to Dirk and others in productive spots.
Calderon changes all that.
Two days ago, in reporting Calderon as a Mavs' top target, we educated-guessed that Dallas would like to "put him in the $7-mil range.'' The contract is four years and $29 million -- an average of $7.25 mil per year.
Part of the "Plan B'' that Mavs owner Mark Cuban mentioned in his Dwightmare email to us is done, complete with Jose Calderson's finance, fit and fitness.
Next stop: The information DB.com broke on June 30 regarding Dallas' high interest in an Exhibit 3 deal with Andrew Bynum and our thoughts on other center pursuits.