Since the millennium changed the Mavericks have been blessed with smart point guards.

They did their jobs differently. Steve Nash was a little more shoot-first pass-later. Jason Kidd was the ultimate coach on the floor. And Devin Harris during his time developed into a dependable playmaker and the best defender of the bunch.

That all changed last season when the Darren Collison/Derek Fisher/Mike James experiment ended like one of those 9th-grade science projects gone wrong – with stuff stuck to the ceiling after the explosion and a mess that nobody wants to clean up.
But Jose Calderon is willing to try.

And while he joins the Mavericks as a B-lister who has been functional but not dynamic throughout his career he’s a point guard in the same mold as Nash and Kidd – one who has the ability to lead the league in assists and who can make a shot when defenses disregard him.

And he brings a wealth of knowledge both at the NBA and international level while also being still in his prime. He will turn 32 later this month.

“What I like about this team is we have more experience than we did last year” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our nemesis last year was close losses. We lost seven or eight overtime games in a row. A lot of it had to do with inexperience. I do believe he (Calderon) is an underrated player. His offensive efficiency is through the roof and defensively he’s smart and experienced.”

What Calderon does best is take care of business – and the basketball. While he’s probably a little more conservative when he’s running the point than Nash or Kidd Calderon had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.11 last season. Only Chris Paul at 4.26 had a better average and no other player in the league was better than Jason Kidd’s 3.28 assists per turnover.

Calderon’s average last season was right on his career norm of 4.13 assists per turnover.

Granted in this era of the NBA a point guard has to do more than distribute the ball. But not making mistakes is a top job requirement for somebody who controls the ball a lot of the time.