Friday , Jul , 06 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Detroit Pistons & Chauncey Billups Apparently Agree On Contract; Is Mr. Big Shot Underpaid?

Reports indicate Billups has finally signed a new five year, 60 million dollar contract with the Detroit Pistons … The two sides had supposedly reached an agreement earlier in the week, but those reports turned out to be false … Are the Pistons getting a deal on Billups’ services? … Click here for news and analysis on this story …

ESPN news services updates Chanuncey Billups status with the Detroit Pistons:

After some miscommunication, Chauncey Billups and the Detroit Pistons have come to an agreement.

ESPN’s Ric Bucher reports sources say that Billups has now agreed to multi-year deal with the Pistons, but terms and length of the deal are unknown at this time.

On Wednesday, Billups’ agent, Andy Miller, refuted a reports that his client had agreed to a contract that could be five years and worth $60 million.

"This is a vicious rumor," Miller told The Detroit Free Press. "It’s entirely untrue. We have not reached an agreement. I don’t know what stage we’re at. We’re having ongoing discussions, and I don’t believe that we’re on the verge of signing an agreement anytime today by any stretch of the imagination."

On Tuesday, The Associated Press and some Detroit-area media outlets had reported that Billups and the Pistons had agreed to a five-year contract. According to the Associated Press, its source, who requested anonymity because of league rules preventing contract announcements before July 11, said the deal is worth $46 million guaranteed over four years and the fifth year is a team option.

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

Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations, said shortly after the team was eliminated from the conference finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers that his 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, 30, who played with the Celtics, Denver, Orlando and Minnesota in his first four seasons, was selected the NBA Finals MVP in 2004 when Detroit won the championship. He was an All-Star in 2006 and 2007.

He averaged 17 points and 7.2 assists in 70 games last season and 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.

My Quick Take:  After some delay, ’Mr. Big Shot’ and Motown appear to have reached an agreement on a new contract. I didn’t read much into the hold-up or the vicious rumor comment. Billups wouldn’t leave an an Eastern power like Detroit to join a less competitive squad 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 was a sure thing. However, I’m 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. Jason Kidd earns 20 million dollars per annum with New Jersey. Golden State doles out 17 million dollars a year for Baron Davis’ services. And Mike Bibby rakes 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. He would be within his right to ask Detroit for more money.  And, perhaps, the two sides were squabbling over the dollar amount and that’s why there was a delay in signing the contract.

I was wrong. It seems like Joe Dumars, Detroit’s GM, will get his franchise player on the cheap.

Article updated July 06, 2007.

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