Turns out, Michael Jordan is not going to call Chauncey Billups bluff.
Billups and his agent have made it very clear that if any teams that he doesn’t want to play for try to snatch him up on the waiver wire he will simply retire. Then there were rumors the Bobcats were going to put in a bid anyway, from Marc Stein of ESPN. The Bobcats need a point guard, right now the two on their roster are D.J. Augustin and rookie Kemba Walker. Billups would be a good fit.
But it’s not going to happen, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Bobcats do NOT plan to claim Chauncey Billups off waivers according to player-personnel chief Rod Higgins.
For the record, I don’t think Billups is bluffing.
Billups was waived by the New York Knicks under the league’s amnesty provision as a move to help clear the way for their signing of Tyson Chandler. That wipes Billups salary off the Knicks books (he still gets paid) and puts him into a secondary waiver market where any team under the salary cap can bid on taking on part of his salary. For example, if the Bobcats had bid $1 million that is all they would pay for Billups, the Knicks would still pay the rest of his contracted salary. Billups was in the last year of his deal.
If no bid is put in, Billups becomes a free agent at 6 p.m. (Eastern) tonight. Miami and Billups home town of Denver would be front runners for his services.