What a horrific signing by the Pistons last summer. He’s way overpaid. The Pistons, already a bad team, are worse on both ends of the court when plays.
No, not Josh Smith (who’s actually helped the wayward Pistons offensively and defensively).
I’m talking about Chauncey Billups.
When you give Smith a $54 million contract, your other missteps tend be overlooked. But Joe Dumars also signed Billups to a two-year, $5 million contract before the season.
I don’t want to denigrate Billups, who’s had a marvelous career and did so much for the Pistons in his first stint with the team. But in his return season, he’s barely gotten on the court (309 minutes in 19 games) and played poorly when he has (5.46 PER). Billups hasn’t done anything wrong, per se. That’s just what happens when players age
As does this:
I’m not sure how you declare any surgery on a 37-year-old – especially someone who’s missed 140 of his teams’ 201 games (and counting) the last three years – won’t be career-ending, let alone season-ending.
The Pistons have a team option for Billups next year, and if they didn’t already plan to cut him loose, this should push them firmly in that direction. They wasted one chance to put a better player on the roster, and they shouldn’t squander another.
Billups can transition to his next career in a team’s front office – he’s always said he prefers that to coaching – and the Pistons can sign someone younger.
Hopefully, Billups returns later this season to get a proper sendoff while playing for Detroit, where he experienced so much success. But after that, it’s time to move on.