This comes out of the Bargnani being a top 10 center thread. When some fans explained that Bargnani is a top ten center because he could end up being the highest scoring center. I argued that by that logic, Calderon might be a top ten PG, but he IS one of the most efficient PGs on the offensive end. He has consistently finished in the top ten each years in assists per minute and is usually in the top 3 for assist/TO. He shoots a high percentage from the field, including beyond the three point line and from the free throw line. And he's one of the better PGs in the league at running an offense and making his teammates better.
That got me thinking. Obviously Calderon is not a top ten PG, but is he a top 20 one?
In no particular order...
I don't think anyone is going to argue that Calderon is better than any of those players. That's 12.
A case can be made that Jameer Nelson, Devon Harris, Darren Collison and Stephen Curry are better, and for the sake of argument, let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
I think Calderon falls here. His defense is obviously poor, but it looks far worse on the Raptors than it would on a better defensive team. Calderon's defensive problems have gotten worse as the teams defense has gotten worse. I don't think that's a coincidence.
On offense, he's not going to break many defenders down off the dribble, but he's a very smart passer who runs an offense efficiently and rarely turns the ball over, and incredibly underrated skill among NBA fans.
As for the other starting PGs or possible starting PGs) around the league...
Jrue Holiday- A great athlete who defends well, but has yet to learn how to run an offense.
Raymond Felton- Doesn't do anything really well and considering Charlotte wanted Calderon instead of him, that should tell you something.
Mo Williams- Great spot up shooter, but can't run an offense and looked good only next to LeBron, and even then...
Jonny Flynn- He might end up being a good PG, but not yet.
DJ Augustin- See above
Ramon Sessions- Minnesota gave him away for cap room a year after signing him.
Rodney Stuckey- Is great at driving to the basket, but does little else.
Mike Bibby- At his age, Calderon does everything he does, but better.
Mario Chalmers- Great defender. Did I say he was a great defender?
Steve Blake- A solid backup who doesn't do anything really well, but doesn't do anything poorly.
Aaron Brooks- He's really nice, unless you want your PG to do something other than score.
Baron Davis- When he's not injured, and when he cares, and when he's not overweight...what was I saying?
Beno Udrih- Do I really need to say anything?
Mike Conley- See above.
Some may say that Calderon isn't even the best PG on the team, but the fact is that the team played better when Calderon was on the floor than when Jack was running the team. Jack is a great backup PG, but he isn't great at running an offense and doesn't make those around him better.
So, is Calderon a top 20 PG? I think he is.