Almost a decade after the 2004 NBA Championship and four-years after the ill-fated deal that sent him to Denver, Chauncey Billups is back with the Pistons.
First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports the Pistons brought back the man known as Mr. Big Shot on a 2-year deal worth approximately $5 million dollars.
Y! Sources: Nearly a decade after leading Detroit to title, Chauncey Billups agrees on a two-year deal with Pistons. http://t.co/4gXjX10RNF
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2013
The first year of the deal the veteran guard will receive $2.5 million with the second year being a team option. Also according to the Adrian Wojnarowski report the 36-year old Billups wanted to finish his career where it blossomed.
Now the move itself is good on many levels.
First, obviously this is a great move for the development of Brandon Knight. Along with head coach Maurice Cheeks who has a good track record with developing point guards, Billups will certainly take a mentor role for Knight who has struggled making that transition from a college point to an NBA point. This also further shows a greater commitment to Knight as the floor leader, something Joe Dumars originally drafted him for.
Second, despite Billups being 36 he offers a viable option off the bench at the point guard position. In an injury shortened season last year with the Clippers Billups averaged just 8.4 points and 2.2 assists per game. However during his 16 year NBA career Mr. Big Shot has averaged 15.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Third if anything the return of Billups should help get fans back out to the Palace. When Billups was originally shipped out of town for Allen Iverson it was highly unpopular amongst fans despite it being a move that still should’ve happened. The real unfortunate part of the deal was Joe D being handcuffed financially after the death of Bill Davidson then trying to rehash the 2004 success with the wrong players.
But positives aside the deal also brings more questions into the fold.
Remember not only did the Pistons bring back Billups but they also brought back Will Bynum meaning they’ve got five guys that can play the point in Knight, Billups, Bynum, Peyton Siva and Rodney Stuckey. Does this move push Stuckey to a backup two-guard role behind Caldwell-Pope or further push him and his expiring deal out of town? It seems like Dumars has further forced his hand into making a deal.
Also, can Billups hold up for an entire season? He dealt with a knee injury while with the Knicks and missed time last season with the Clippers due to a tear in his Achilles tendon. Obviously his off the court teaching will be beneficial but the team will be far better off with him healthy and actually playing in games.
Finally though can Billups realistically help the Pistons win? Again this isn’t the same Chauncey Billups that Pistons fans last saw four years ago. The nostalgia of Chauncey being back with Detroit will only last so much with fans. Winning though is what will continue to bring people back to Auburn Hills.
If we do take CB ill give my #1 up. #Mr.BigShot
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummondd) July 11, 2013
Regardless it’s a good low risk move for the Pistons with the positives vastly outweighing the negatives. Like the Josh Smith signing though it has to be followed up with some corresponding transaction.