Pistons' Calderon still working out visa issues


Pistons' Calderon still working out visa issues

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Jose Calderon is eager to make his debut for the Detroit Pistons. First, he has some visa issues to resolve.

The Spanish-born guard was not available to play Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he was hopeful the delay wouldn't be too long. Detroit, which acquired Calderon from Toronto on Wednesday night, hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

``Hopefully as soon as possible,'' Calderon said. ``I'm just observing for now, but hopefully, it's quick.''

Calderon was at the team's practice facility earlier Friday, and the Pistons are already figuring out how their roster will work with the addition of the 6-foot-3 point guard. They're viewing Calderon as a short-term solution on offense - and potentially a long-term member of the lineup.

Pistons president Joe Dumars says the team wanted Calderon because of his talent - not just because of his expiring contract.

``We've tried to acquire him several times from Toronto over the years,'' Dumars said. ``We like him. This is someone that we'd have some interest in.''

Calderon played for Toronto for seven and a half seasons before being traded Wednesday night. The Pistons sent Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis as part of the three-team deal.

Calderon joined the Raptors from Spain in 2005. He is averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 assists this season.

``I am a point guard,'' he said. ``It's a team sport. You cannot win by yourself. There's only one or two Kobes or LeBrons.''

The 31-year-old Calderon says he's open to staying with the Pistons after this season.

``You're never going to close any doors. ... I'm a free agent in the summer, and we'll see,'' he said. ``It's always good when you're in a place where they really want you. That makes a huge difference.''

The Pistons entered Friday night's game in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, 5 1/2 games behind eighth-place Boston. The Celtics just lost All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a knee injury, which may have improved Detroit's chances of chasing down a playoff spot.

But the Pistons are still in a bit of a rebuilding mode. Over the last three years, they've used first-round draft picks on big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, as well as guard Brandon Knight.

Calderon's arrival could mean Knight plays off the ball a bit more, although coach Lawrence Frank likes the idea of having multiple ball-handlers on the court at a time.

``We've got guards,'' Frank said. ``If we can defend, we'll be able to get out in the open court more. We'll be able to run more multiple pick-and-rolls.''

Dumars, meanwhile, is ready for an offseason of increased flexibility. Space under the salary cap can be used either to sign free agents or to trade for established players on other teams that are looking to trim payroll.

``The flexibility right now in the NBA is a huge asset for any team,'' Dumars said. ``The way things operate now in the NBA, teams have to make moves for financial reasons. You want to be in a position to be one of those teams to benefit from that.''

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

USA Today Sports

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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