Latest News, NBA / Nov 22, 2010 / 12:15 pm

NBA Trade Rumor: Chauncey Billups could follow Carmelo out of Denver

Chauncey Billups (photo. Mannion)

Chauncey Billups (photo. Mannion)

With the New Jersey Nets in Denver to play the Nuggets over the weekend, it’s no surprise that the two teams’ front-office execs met up to talk about Carmelo Anthony.

But while the drama sorts itself out, Denver fans may want to prepare themselves for the possibility of losing their other Olympic gold medalist, multiple-time All-Star and the only guy on the roster with an NBA Finals MVP trophy at home: Chauncey Billups. From the Denver Post:

The all-star Denver point guard — and proud Denver native — is due to make a hefty $14.2 million next season, but the team can buy him out after this season for just $3.7 million, making him a free agent. Also, a league source confirmed that several teams have inquired about trading for Billups. And so, the new-look Nuggets’ front office will soon have to make a decision about Billups, the 34-year-old vet and the mentor to up-and-coming point guard Ty Lawson.

In a revealing interview, Billups repeatedly said he understands the business of basketball and that the new collective bargaining agreement, which could reduce the amount of money players make, has teams hesitant to extend contracts. But when asked about whether he wants a contract extension, Billups said: “Sure, absolutely. I never want to leave here again. I want to be a Nugget for the rest of my career, whether that’s four, five years, whatever. They know that.

“But I also know the business of basketball. Nothing really surprises me in this game. People talk about Carmelo, the possibility of me being moved, the J.R. (Smith) situation — there are a lot of uncertainties around here. I don’t like being part of the uncertainty. But that’s what it is, that’s the nature of the beast. I’ve been down the road. . . .

“I know how this business goes. I respect the process. At the same time, I know what I’ve done to change the culture around here. I’m not a me-me guy, but I know the position of the state of the franchise before I got here. I hope that doesn’t go unappreciated.”

Billups is too old and too good to get stuck on a rebuilding Nuggets squad. He was brought back home in ’08 to be the missing ingredient to a championship recipe, not the juicy Thanksgiving turkey on a table surrounded by SPAM and stale cashews. But if ‘Melo gets traded, Denver will presumably go into rebuilding mode, unless they manage to get another veteran All-Star caliber player in return for ‘Melo.

Chauncey’s contract may be unattractive for the team considering he’s 34 years old and shooting 34 percent from the field this year as the team struggles with ‘Melo in the lineup. And his backup, Lawson, has had times where he is the best player on the court for the Nuggets — like when he sparked the fourth quarter run that helped Denver to its biggest win of the season so far, against the Lakers on national TV. But any chance this franchise has of keeping their youngster superstar absolutely involves keeping their older superstar.

What do you think? If you’re running the Nuggets, would you listen to trade offers for Billups?

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  • Knicksfan84

    Hawks, Lakers, Spurs (for Parker), Heat…..

    Just saying… but primarily:

    MIAMI HEAT -> too bad they have absolutely NOTHING to offer.

  • thenatural

    I have a feeling he’d be an awesome fit with the Lakers…

  • JBaller

    Chauncy is such a class act and great team player that I think he would make just about any squad better. I think he’s still a top ten point guard, maybe even top five. I like how he mentioned the change in culture that Denver experienced when he arrived. He has had a great effect on the whole team on and off the floor.

  • nizzio

    He would be a perfect fit in Atlanta. They should package him and JR Smith for Bibby and another guy

  • Lady Luck

    Billups would be a nice addition to the Clips. Replace B. Diddy with a durable, veteran PG who can just pass to Gordon, Kaman, and of course Blake Griffin.

  • Gnasche

    Yeah, he’d be welcome nearly anywhere, but the Lakers? They’re already $40m over the cap. You planning to give up Bynum or Gasol?

  • karizmatic

    Yeah I’d have to look at trade offers for him. The Nuggets are going nowhere at the moment and now would be the time to look for measures that would save cap room.

  • karizmatic

    @ Lady Luck

    I like him for the Clips too but I think the only way the Clips would agree to it is if they could unloas Davis and I don’t see how that would be something that the Nuggets would want to do.

  • APE

    Let him go back to Detroit.

    trade for Tayshaun Prince (not really a bad temporary replacement in case Melo bolts).

  • yoda

    there is something about him that i don’t like, not really sure what, but i respect him and this comments made me respect him even more. true professional unlike lots of current nba superstars

  • Eric

    The big question for any of these potential destinations: what would the other team offer in return? Atlanta for Bibby . . . are you kidding me? Miami has nothing of interest. Lakers would have to give up more than they would want to. I recognize a lot of these comments make the assumption Melo will get traded sending the Nuggets into full rebuilding mode, but they can buy him out after the season freeing ~10 million in cap space. Any offer would have to be decent for the Nuggets to consider trading the home-town boy.