When Chauncey Billups went down with an Achilles Tendon injury couple seasons ago, it seemed like the end of his career. He wouldn’t let it be — he was going to leave the NBA on his own terms.
He put in the grueling rehab work and got back on the court for the Clippers last season. He played in just 22 games, starting all of them and averaging 8.4 points a game on 40.2 percent shooting. He wasn’t Billups circa 2004, but you could see him as a quality veteran role player (it’s just that the Clippers and Vinny Del Negro used him in a larger role).
Now the 36-year-old Billups wants to stick around for two more seasons, reports Chris Broussard.
That will not be with the Clippers. Los Angeles had already moved him to the two guard and with the acquisition of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, plus them picking up the option year on Willie Green, Billups is the guy left without a chair when the music stops.
But somebody will give him a shot. As a bench player, but a shot. He is in good shape and is as likely as anyone his age to have value to a team. He can give a team 15 solid minutes a night and be a good presence in the locker room, and there are a lot of teams that could use that.
I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.
But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.
He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.
The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.
Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.
He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.
But there were some great blocks.
Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.