Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter
And the 32-year-old Spaniard is excited about what’s ahead.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Calderon said Friday on a conference call. “I think the triangle offense fits me really well. I’ve been looking at that and it should be great.”
Calderon, 32, just finished the first season of a four-year, $28 million contract with Dallas. He is considered a defensive liability but a strong 3-point shooter. He averaged 11.4 points and shot 45 per cent from beyond the arc last season.
“I’ll be able to open the floor for all the guys,” Calderon said. “I’m a pass-first point guard, I try to share the ball as much as possible. And I’m a team player. I try to put the team first. I never am going to worry about anything else but the team.”
Calderon conceded that playing the triangle is “going to be a challenge for a little bit” and that he plans to get “there [to camp] at the beginning and start early.”
He said he believes that having a rookie coach in Fisher won’t be an issue, and that Fisher is ready to lead.
“I think he was thinking about it and he’ll be ready for sure,” Calderon said.
Calderon said Andrea Bargnani, his former teammate with the Toronto Raptors, texted to congratulate him after the trade that brought Calderon, Sam Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and draft picks to the Knicks in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
Calderon said he believes he can “help” Bargnani, who did not mesh with the Knicks last season and then was lost to an elbow injury at midseason.
“I’ll try to put him in the right situation to be successful,” Calderon said, adding that he thought Bargnani was a key player in Toronto.
“He’s a 7-footer who can spread the floor for everybody. It’s about confidence. He played really good in Toronto. He’s a guy that’s going to be really important for sure.”
Calderon hasn’t spoken yet with Carmelo Anthony, who has opted out and will reportedly soon meet with the Mavericks, Rockets and Bulls, among others.
If Anthony comes back to the Knicks, Calderon is looking forward to playing with him and said he can help make it easier on the All-Star forward by spreading the floor and getting him the ball when and where he needs it.
“He’s a great player and I would love to play with him,” Calderon said of Anthony. “I think I can take a lot of pressure off of him and get him the ball when he’s ready for it.
“And because of my 3-point ability I can give him a little bit more space” to operate in isolation.
Calderon said he he hopes Anthony stays in New York.
“He’s a great player, one of the best,” he said. “Anything I can do to make him stay [I will] for sure.”