Tuesday , Jul , 03 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Report: Detroit Pistons Re-Sign Chauncey Billups For $60 Million, Getting Guard On The Cheap

The Pistons have apparently inked Billups to a new five-year, 60 million dollar contract … Mr. Big Shot is the heart-and-soul of the Detroit franchise and an elite point guard … Did Detroit get a deal on Billups? … Click here for news and analysis …

The Associated Press reports that the Detroit Pistons have re-signed Chauncey Billups:

Chauncey Billups and the Detroit Pistons agreed on a five-year, $60 million contract Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The person, who requested anonymity because of league rules preventing contract announcements before July 11, said the final season is a team option, making the deal worth $46 million guaranteed over four years.

Billups had become an unrestricted free agent last month after opting out of the last year of a six-year contract.

The Pistons made it clear last season and after they were eliminated from the conference finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers that their top priority was re-signing Billups.

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound All-Star said he would prefer to stay with Detroit and expected to be back if the team could match any other team’s best offer.

Billups had become an unrestricted free agent last month after opting out of the last year of a six-year contract. The point guard was one of the NBA’s top free agents, leaving Rashard Lewis as the marquee player still available.

Billups, 30, who played with the Celtics, Denver, Orlando and Minnesota in his first four seasons, was named the NBA finals MVP in 2004 when Detroit won the championship and was an All-Star in each of the next two seasons.

He averaged 17 points and 7.2 assists per game in 70 games last season and has averaged 14.5 points and 5.3 assists over his nine-year career. But Billups struggled in the playoffs each of the past two seasons, and averaged 15.3 points, 3.5 assists and 3.8 turnovers in the Eastern finals against the Cavs.

Billups and Richard Hamilton form one of the NBA’s top backcourts, but the rest of the Pistons’ guard corps is in flux. Guard Carlos Delfino was traded to Toronto, and veterans Lindsey Hunter and Flip Murray may be expendable after three guards — Rodney Stuckey, Arron Afflalo and Sam Mejia — were taken in last week’s draft.  

My Quick Take: I’m not surprised ‘Mr. Big Shot’ will eventually end up with Motown. I couldn’t see leaving an Eastern power like Detroit to join a less competitive team in Milwaukee or Memphis.

Billups is the heart-and-soul of the Piston franchise. Fans love him. Teammates love him. The coaching staff loves him. The front office loves him. Most importantly, William Davidson, the team owner and cheque-writer, loves him.

And Billups loves Detroit. This contract, even if it’s delayed for a few days, is a sure thing.

However, I’m a little surprised at the dollar amount. What’s being reported seems low for an elite point guard.

This deal would allegedly pay Billups 12 million dollars per season. earns 20 million dollars per annum with . doles out 17 million dollars a year for ’ services. Andrakes in 14 million dollars a year in Sacramento.

Out of these table-setters, Billups is the only one with an NBA Title.

His mediocre play in the Eastern Conference finals was an aberration. It seems like Joe Dumars, Detroit’s GM, will get his franchise player on the cheap.

Collateral Damage: . The Pistons have ten players signed for next season at a total cost of 62 million dollars. They still have to round out their bench and sign their two first round draft picks.

Mohammed, last year’s big-name free agent signing, doesn’t fit with Detroit. Look for Dumars to deal the center for cap relief or some back-ups.

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