Thanks for coming, Chauncey.
After being traded for Denver in a deal he didn’t want (Billups is from Denver and was happy there), as a sidekick to Carmelo Anthony, and then having his option exercised to pay him $16 million, the New York Knicks exercised their amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups Saturday.
The move means that Billups will enter the “Amnesty auction” in which teams under the cap (and only under the cap) can bid for Billlups’ services by offering to pay part or all of his remaining salary. The $16 million is removed from New York’s cap, and any bidder who puts in a qualifying offer would have that bid on their cap.
The move was made to make room for the signing of Tyson Chandler, acquired in a sign-and-trade with Dallas. The Knicks also traded Ronny Turiaf to the Wizards for Andy Rautins and a second-round pick.
Billups’ agent told Yahoo! Sports earlier in the week that if he is amnestied “buyer beware” if it’s a team he doesn’t want to go to, essentially daring a non-contender to sign him. There have been rumors that were he to go through the amnesty auction process with no one putting in an offer, he could sign with the Heat.
Yeah, I’ll let that one sink in a while.
Billups is available for bid until Friday.
Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.
Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.
Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.
The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.
The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).
So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.
The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.
“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.
“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”
Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)
Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.
And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.
Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.