Monday , Jun , 25 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Chauncey Billups Opts-Out Of Contract With Detroit Pistons

Billups, the heart and soul of the Detroit Pistons, has exercised an option on his contract and is now an unrestricted free agent … Other clubs have have cap room, but all signs point to Mr. Big Shot staying with the Pistons … Click here for news and analysis …

The Associated Press reports on Chauncey Billups becoming an unrestricted free agent:

Chauncey Billups officially opted out of his contract Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1. "Chauncey’s first intention is to come back to Detroit, and we’ll continute to explore that as an option, but if we’re unable to make a deal with the Pistons my obligation is to look at other possibilities that will provide long-term security for Chauncey and his family," agent Andy Miller told ESPN.com.

Billups was due to make $6,819,000 next season in the final year of his contract, which had an early termination option.

Pistons president Joe Dumars has consistently said he is confident the Pistons will be able to re-sign Billups, whose negotiating leverage will be impacted by the small number of teams with significant salary cap space.

Milwaukee and Memphis are two teams with cap space and a need for a point guard, but neither team is expected to have enough space to make a better offer than the one Billups will get from Detroit.

My Quick Take: Forget ’ sub-par play against in the Eastern Conference finals. And forget this nonsense about Milwaukee and Memphis using their cap space to sign the beefy guard.

Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ GM, will open the vault for Mr. Big Shot. I would be shocked if Billups left Motown.

I know. Last year, left as an unrestricted free agent because the club’s contract offer was disappointing. So anything is possible.

But I don’t see history repeating itself with Billups. These are two very different situations. The Pistons were tired of Wallace clashing with coaches. Fair or not, they felt the center was becoming a distraction and weren’t prepared to overpay for his services. The club pretty much drove Wallace to the airport with their mediocre contract offer.

Billups is the true heart and soul of Detroit basketball. Fans love him. Teammates love him. The coaching staff loves him. The front office loves him. Most importantly, William Davidson, the team’s owner, loves him.

The feelings are mutual-Billups loves being a Piston. Yes, the NBA is a business, where anything can happen. But, remember, the All-Star spent his first few seasons playing for several franchises and doesn’t want to pack his bags for another city at this stage of his career.

All signs point to Detroit and Billups agreeing to a contract and spending the next five or six seasons together.

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