If Chauncey Billups walked around all day today with a dumbfounded look on his face, he’d have a right. When he woke up this morning he thought he was the starting point guard of the New York Knicks, by the end of tomorrow the NBA’s bottom feeders could be bidding on him.
Billups still has value on the court — value the Miami Heat could really use. But could they get him?
They want him according to a tweet from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Heat in a tough spot financially but sources say the team is hoping that if amnestied Billups will push to play in Miami.
He can push, but that may not be enough. Let’s walk through the process, which can get confusing so stick with us.
The Knicks need to get Billups off the books to land Tyson Chandler — and they are going to get Tyson Chandler. One way that could happen is the Knicks doing a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks that sends Chandler to NYC and Billups to Dallas, where he would share point guard duties with a depleted Mavs team.
If not that, the Knicks will use their amnesty clause on Billups, essentially waiving him. But this does not just make Billups a free agent — he would then be thrown into a secondary waivers where teams under the salary cap could bid on part of his contract. Essentially, if the Sacramento Kings wanted to bid $5 million, they could get him for that (and the Knicks would still pay the remainder of Billups $14 million deal).
Billups agent Andy Miller has already been warning teams not to bid on Billups in that situation — Billups has the threat of retirement. Here is what Miller told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
“(Billups) has no intention of being open-minded about any possible situation where a team would claim him off waivers unless it’s a team he chooses himself. Buyer beware.”
If no team picks him up on these waivers, then Billups does become a free agent.
And then it would likely come down to the Heat and Billups hometown Denver Nuggets. The question then for Billups is one of a shot at another ring — he would be the best point guard on the Heat roster by far (sorry Mario Chalmers) — versus playing at home as he ends his career. The Heat would have a shot.
But we’re a long way from there right now.