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If Carmelo Anthony is gone, is Chauncey Billups far behind?

Aug 27, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for canthony_billups.jpgIf you’re going to blow up the team and rebuild — and it appears the Denver Nuggets hand has been forced in that regard — then you do it right. Go all the way down to the foundation. Spare nothing.

Which is to say, if the Denver Nuggets are trading Carmelo Anthony (and J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin) then what is the point of keeping Chauncey Billups?

Billups will turn 34 next season, which is not ideal for rebuilding but great for a team needing one more piece to make a run. Billups is still at the top of his game — he averaged 19.6 points and 5.6 assists per game last year, had a PER of 20.2 and a true shooting percentage of .601. Which is to say, your eyes don’t deceive you, he is still one of the top handful of point guards around. He’s a five-time All-Star (including last year) with a ring and a finals MVP award.

And he is an expiring contract, sort of. Billups is owed $13.2 million this season but his $14.2 million for next season is not guaranteed, so he can be bought out at a fair price. That will be attractive to teams who may not want to take on the long-term commitment or teams that want to win now and are willing to give up a young player for a playoff proven vet.

There has been no talk of trading Billups and he has not asked to be traded. Denver may want to keep him this season and buy him out next year for the cap savings themselves. This is all speculation.

But if they are looking for young players and picks, you’d have to think some team would pay handsomely for Billups. They have to consider moving him at the trade deadline pretty seriously.

  1. J.C. - Aug 27, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    I am fine with dealing Carmelo, he is a selfish punk who will always care about only himself and no one else! I have been watching him his entire career in Denver and he has always complained about getting him help to get the Nuggets to the finals but he knows how to do one thing and one thing only and that is shoot but until he hustles on defense it will not be enough!
    No matter what Carmelo will never win an NBA title, he is a looser!
    Chauncey wants to be in Denver and the fans love his intensity! I say pay him his dues and the money!

  2. J-Walk - Aug 27, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    Bring Melo to Golden State. Let me tell you why this is the best place for him. 1) it’s a large market and one of the best places in the world to live. 2) the fans support is off the charts. 3) The Warriors have new owners with a new dedication to winning. 4) The Warriors have a young core all under contract for the next 4 years with 4 all-star level talent players (if Monta isn’t part of the deal). Melo’s wife wants to be successful in the entertainment world. Well the Bay Area is a hop skip and jump from L.A. and one of the primary owners of the Warriors is Peter Gruber, who is the head of Mandalay Entertainment. He would have a vested interested in LaLa’s happiness.
    The dubs have enough expiring contracts and attractive young talent to make this happen. Plus Lacob is on record as saying he wants to add a player of Melo’s ability to his young core. Don’t count he and Gruber from making a strong pitch to Melo and an attractive offer to the Dubs.

  3. David - Aug 28, 2010 at 5:04 AM

    Trade Melo for Yao. Denver has always needed that elisive big man, and the ROckets are in need of a talented scorer. Trade made in heaven.

  4. Esteban - Sep 4, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    Bring melo Jr swish and billups to houston for battier jermaine Taylor and jerred jefferies

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