Remember when Chauncey Billups was brought in to Denver, a change at the point as the shoot-first Allen Iverson went to Detroit?
That move changed who the Nuggets were, it brought a seriousness and professionalism to their identity. That is when they became a threat in the West.
Billups likes it in Denver, but he knows he is not getting an extension of his deal that ends after this season, with him making $14.2 million. He knows if Carmelo Anthony is traded he likely will be (and teams have called about him).
Billups told the Denver Post he wishes all that was different because he would prefer to stay in the Mile High city.
“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 (Anthony), 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.”
If nothing else, that should never go unappreciated.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.