Is Chauncey Billups' future tied to Carmelo Anthony?


As the Carmelo Anthony saga continues on, with no real conclusion likely for months (the odds of a brand new GM draining the top talent on the team less than two weeks on the job is slim), an interesting side question has begun to develop.

If Anthony doesn’t sign the extension to stay in Denver, does that change where Chauncey Billups retires?

When Billups was traded to Denver for Allen Iverson, there was a lot of talk about him retiring in Denver. Of course, there was also a lot of talk about an eventual title in Denver after the Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals. But with Melo considering a departure to a bigger market, and Billups’ contract in 2011-2012 guaranteed for less than $4 million, some discussion is coming on contingencies.

The Denver Post reports that Billups reasserted two things this week. 1. He would love to retire a Nugget, but 2. if the Nuggets’ core deteriorates into rebuilding mode, he’d want to go somewhere else to win.

No pressure, as yet unnamed GM.

Billups says he wants to play four more seasons. And that’s a very reasonable target considering his play style and leadership instincts. But his role will continue to diminish. We saw the signs last season, though his overall performance was exemplary as always. The question will be if a Carmelo departure triggers a rebuilding movement by the Nuggets which would eliminate Billups’ value there, or if Anthony signs back up and Billups follows suit to retire a Nugget in his home town.