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Warriors at Hawks preview: Jose Calderon’s strange path from joining Golden State to opposing them

The Warriors will face the Hawks this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. PST.

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

What: Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks

When: 4:30 p.m. PST

Where: Phillips Arena — Atlanta, GA

How to watch: CSN Bay Area

Buddy Blog: Peachtree Hoops

Not even a week ago, Jose Calderon was supposed to join the Golden State Warriors to add depth as a reserve point guard.

Although some people had pretty strong feelings about the potential move, I can’t say I cared much — aside from the need to save coach Steve Kerr from himself in another Game 7 situation, I really didn’t think the guy replacing Briante Weber was going to change the direction of the franchise or anything (for what it’s worth, I liked Weber’s energy, had a good feeling about him, and liked the idea of seeing what he could develop into...but I can’t say I was up in arms about that either. I wish him the best of luck and will probably track his career similar to the way I’ve followed Kent Bazemore).

If you want to read into Calderon’s comment about the situation, he’s just glad to be in a situation where people actually want him, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Hawks called Calderon before he initially chose the Warriors and called again after he became available a second time.

“At the end of the day you have to see where you are really wanted,” Calderon said Sunday. “They called. They were interested. I think we are right there to go all the way (in the playoffs). I feel comfortable. There was a good talk, a good feeling about it. That’s way I made the decision.”

But there’s a little footnote attached to this move that’s worth acknowledging if you need a reason to further appreciate the franchise you’re rooting for: the Warriors did all they could to honor their verbal agreement with Calderon even though changing circumstances pushed them in another direction, according to Connor Letourneau of the S.F. Chronicle.

The Spanish national team member was signed and waived within two hours Wednesday so he could receive the roughly $415,000 he would have earned had he stayed for the remainder of the season...The Warriors waived Calderon, 35, so quickly to ensure he would retain playoff eligibility with whatever club he landed with next. Per league rules, players must be released by March 1 to stay playoff-eligible with their next team.

This is not a big deal at all. But it’s actually a kind of cool statement about who the Warriors are or at least how they want to present themselves.

It also saves them a little money, so there’s that too.

Calderon did not play for the Hawks last night against the Indiana Pacers so it remains to be seen if he’ll be playing in tonight’s game, but he could make an impact for the Hawks whenever he does get acclimated as described by Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.

The Hawks wanted veteran depth at the point guard spot. Dennis Schroder starts, but when he sits the Hawks turn to Malcolm Delaney, an undrafted rookie who is shooting 38.2 percent overall and 24.7 percent from three. He’s a below replacement level player. Calderon is as well, but he’s been the better of the two this season and is someone who Budenholzer can trust to handle the pressure of the playoffs better than the rookie. Calderon, 35, can run the second unit. However, his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed defensively.

We could dig deeper into this matchup, but with the Warriors coming off an oddly timed road game just yesterday and still looking to find a rhythm without injured Durant, this is a somewhat difficult one to predict -- based upon the way this season has gone so far, it’s not hard to say that this is exactly the type of game this team would drop over the past two seasons.

Let’s just hope they can find their rhythm and start working on peaking at the right time this season.

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