Opting to extend his brilliant career for at least two more seasons, 36-year-old guard Chauncey Billups has signed with a familiar team in the Detroit Pistons.
The news comes courtesy of Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Nearly a decade after resurrecting the franchise and leading it to an NBA championship, Chauncey Billups has reached agreement on a two-year contract to return to the Detroit Pistons, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The deal will be worth approximately $5 million-plus for Billups, league sources said…
… Pistons general manager Joe Dumars has long regretted tradingBillups to the Denver Nuggets for the expiring contract of Allen Iverson in the 2008-09 season. Now, Dumars has brought back Billups with a mandate to nurture and perform for the Pistons.
Billups is unquestionably at the tail end of his career. In the past two seasons, he logged a mere 42 games as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. He is coming off one of the most injury-plagued, unproductive seasons of his illustrious career.
Hindered by the rehabilitation process from a ruptured Achilles along with various foot, back, hamstring and groin injuries throughout the season, Billups averaged just 8.4 points and 2.2 assists in 19.0 minutes per contest in 2012-13.
But the encouraging part is he made it through what he himself called “a really, really tough year for me personally” and is still willing to put in the necessary work to be a factor in the NBA.
Moreover, in early May, Billups said he “feels as good as he has in two years.”
Should he indeed return to full health in time for the start of next season, Billups can still play a valuable role in this league. Don’t forget that just three years ago—which seems like a long time, but because of injuries there hasn’t been much mileage put on his legs since then—he averaged 16.8 points, 2.0 threes made and 5.4 assists per game between the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks.
At the very worst, Detroit is getting a 20-minute-per-game veteran who can knock down open threes, play both guard positions if necessary and be trusted down the stretch—as if you would expect anything else from someone with the moniker Mr. Big Shot.
Billups may not have the same capabilities that made him a beloved member of the Pistons, but he’s a veteran role player who will have a positive effect on the locker room and organization, which is highly valuable in this league.