Chauncey Billups may have thrown a wrench into Denver’s trade plans for Carmelo Anthony.
The Nuggets want to deal with Nets — where they can get Derrick Favors and some first-round draft picks — but Anthony’s agent has pushed for getting Chauncey Billups and other players traded to New Jersey with him because Anthony doesn’t want to go to a rebuilding team.
Except, Billups doesn’t want to leave Denver.
That’s what his agent told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse.
“I’ve been in constant contact with Masai (Ujiri, the Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations) and made it clear that Chauncey’s desire is to remain a Nugget for the rest of his playing career and thereafter,” Billups’ agent, Andy Miller, said by phone Saturday to FanHouse. “If any of these rumors were to come to fruition, Chauncey and I would definitely want to maintain our flexibility and explore our free agency as soon as possible.”
Billups is a Denver native. He is set to make $14.2 million next season, however that can be bought out for $3.7 million at the end of this season. There is a chance Billups could be bought out right after any trade this season, although that seems a long shot.
The comments by Miller would have to give New Jersey (or any team looking to trade for Billups) pause. That pause could hurt the chances of the Nets to complete any three-team deal, although it does not preclude it. Meanwhile, Knicks executives are just smiling.
Billups took the high road with his comments.
“Everybody knows what I want and my intentions,” Billups, 34, said of wanting to finish his career with the Nuggets. “I’ve been clear about that. But I also know this is professional sports and this is a business. So I hope that I’m here. Everybody knows that. But, if I’m not, I’m going to do the best I can, whatever happens.”
The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.
It didn’t get better afterward.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:
I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.
But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.
Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.
Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.
One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.
We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.
Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.
If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.
For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.