Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton won a ring together. Just a few years back they were the heart of one of the league’s elite teams, with Billups directing the show and Hamilton running off screens for mid-range catch-and-shoots. They bonded. They cried together when Billups was traded to Denver (for Allen Iverson, a move that started the Pistons on the path to where they are now).
So it shouldn’t be a shock that with all the trade talk about them reuniting and joining forces with Carmelo Anthony in New Jersey, the two are talking to each other, as Marc Sprears reports at Yahoo.
Billups has had several conversations with Hamilton about the potential trade and expects a resolution before too long. While Billups doesn’t want to leave his hometown of Denver, he’s accepted it’s a real possibility. Hamilton, meanwhile, is more than ready to leave the rebuilding Pistons.
“I’m sure we will find out soon if it will be a reality or not,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ll be ready either way. Of course, Rip is pulling for anything to get out of his current situation. We will see.”
Billups, a Denver native, is not eager for a deal that has him leaving his home town. But with two years left on his contract, he has little leverage. Like the rest of us, he sits and waits. Hamilton will take a one-way ticket anywhere out of Detroit at this point.
The upside for Billups would be getting to hit Rip with a pass as he curls off a screen near the elbow again. Even if it will be hard to recapture that old magic one more time.
Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)
Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.
This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.
The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.
Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.