Former Raptors star helps welcome Marc Gasol to Toronto

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Jose Calderon greets Marc Gasol before a game in Memphis in 2010. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jose Calderon greets Marc Gasol before a game in Memphis in 2010. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jose Calderon picked up a lot of assists while playing for the Toronto Raptors — 4,288 regular season dimes and another 67 in the playoffs to be exact.

And although he’s no longer with organization, the 37-year-old Spanish guard picked up yet another shortly after finding out that fellow countryman Marc Gasol would be moving north of the border.

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Calderon, who played the first seven-and-a-half seasons of his NBA career with the Raptors, currently plays for the Detroit Pistons. That, however, didn’t stop him from connecting with Gasol after he was traded for Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, Delon Wright and a second-round pick on Thursday.


“Jose was one of the first guys to reach out (and tell me) how much I’m going to love the organization and the city and he was very excited,” Gasol told reporters on Saturday. 

Although Gasol and Calderon have never played on the same team in the NBA (Gasol had been with the Memphis Grizzlies for the entirety of his professional career before Thursday’s deal while Calderon has bounced around the Association since he was traded from Toronto during the 2012-13 season), the pair helped Spain win silver at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

That 2012 roster also contained a man by the name of Serge Ibaka, who currently plays for the Raptors and was coached by Sergio Scariolo, an assistant coach in Toronto.

Although this is the first time that the 34-year-old Gasol has been traded in his 11-year career, the warm welcomes, guidance of others and familiar faces within the organization seem to be helping with his transition.


Now, we’ll see what 2013 Defensive Player of the Year brings to the table when he comes off the bench for the Raptors against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

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