Pistons won’t pick up 2014-15 option for Chauncey Billups

AUBURN HILLS — For a second time, Chauncey Billups is not leaving the Detroit Pistons under his own terms.

The first time occurred in November 2008 when the 2004 NBA Finals MVP was traded to the Denver Nuggets.

The second time came Monday when the Pistons decided not to pick up the $2.5 million option of the final season of the two-year deal he signed last summer.

“Chauncey Billups will always be a valued member of the Detroit Pistons’ family,” Pistons president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy said in a release. “Decisions like these are always difficult to make and we certainly wish Chauncey and his family the best in the future.”

There are indications that Billups, now an unrestricted free agent as teams can start shopping, will try to continue his career by latching on with another team. If he finds the market limited, he will likely retire and start chasing his stated goal of landing a job in an NBA front

“Chauncey Billups embodies what it means to be a member of the Detroit Pistons,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a release. “His leadership, dedication and excellence both on and off the court provide a great example for aspiring young athletes. He will forever be a welcome member of the Pistons’ family, and I am confident that after his playing days are over he will have a long and bright future in this league.”

Billups told KUSA-TV in his hometown of Denver recently that he still hadn’t made a firm decision.

“You don’t want to end the way that my last couple of seasons ended,” Billups, who was limited to 22 or fewer games each of the last three seasons because of
injuries, said.

Billups, 37, signed with the Pistons last offseason and was expected to provide veteran leadership. He was part of an offseason splash that raised expectations.

“I feel like I’ve still got some good years of basketball left,” Billups said at the time. “I’ve said it, time and time again, that I always wanted to be remembered as a Piston.

“This city and this organization is huge, and rich in basketball tradition. Even with me being away on the other teams that I’ve been on the last few years, I hate to see the Palace look the way it looks during games, with nobody watching.”

But a balky knee that ultimately required surgery limited him to only 19 games this past season. And the season was a disaster and ultimately coach Maurice Cheeks was fired after 50 games and longtime Pistons president Joe Dumars’ tenure ended after the season.

Not exactly a triumphant return for Billups.

But he will always be remembered for being the leader of the Pistons when they were making annual treks to the Eastern Conference finals. The highlight was the 2004 world title.

If it’s over, he ends his 16-year career with career averages of 15.2 points and 5.4 assists.



Posted by Tribune News Services

Leave a Reply