Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to replace Billups with Paul or Williams in 2012?

Chauncey Billups, who had a non-guaranteed contract for the 11-12 season, but that deal will not be bought out. Billups is locked into his $14.2 million contract for the 11-12 season, according to a source. Because Billups’ contract will expire for the 2012 offseason, the Knicks retain the flexibility to acquire a potential free agent such as Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the wildcard in this blockbuster.

Today, the New York Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a bevy of young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks.

Reports indicate the Knicks picked-up the 2011-12 season of Billups’ contract; however, his $14 million pact will expire come July, 2012.

The timing is perfect. Right when Billups’ big ticket comes off the books, Chris Paul and Deron Williams hit the open market as unrestricted free agents.

Both have an interest in leaving their current team. Both have eyes on The Big Apple. And the Knicks could conceivably get their choice of the game’s top table-setters.

For the foreseeable future they have Billups, a steady hand with the ability to hit big shots in the clutch. In sixteen months, they’ll likely get Paul or Williams.

Think of it: Anthony, Stoudemire, and Paul or Williams. This group could compete with the east’s best trios like the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade, the Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Derrick Rose, and the Boston Celtics’ fab four’ of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo.

Perhaps the best of the Anthony deal is yet to come. And perhaps that will be when Paul or Williams arrive at Madison Square Gardens.

–Oly Sandor.

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