Recently, Detroit’s starting point guard Chauncey Billups decided to opt out of the final year of his contract. What that means is that once it is July 11th, Chauncey will be a full-fledged free agent, and can leave the Pistons. Most Pistons fans I have talked to think this is a terrible tragedy. However, I myself, do not think it would be such a bad idea to get rid of Chauncey Billups. Let me explain my reasoning for this.
This year during the Playoffs, Billups didn’t display his normal clutch ability that he has for the past few years. He didn’t knock down the big shots he needed to knock down. Many times when he was trying to set up the offense in the post-season this year he would get trapped by the opposing defense and turn the ball over. Also, Chauncey isn’t the greatest scorer in the world. Sure, he’s good for 10 or 15 night in and night out, but if his jump shot isn’t hitting then he’s not doing much for his team on the offensive end. Billups isn’t the kind of point guard who slashes to the basket and shoots lay-ups like Tony Parker or a tremendous passer like Steve Nash. Chauncey is the sort of point guard who is more like a “body” guard. He uses his stockier size to over power other, smaller point guards from around the league. And I don’t mean to sound like I think Billups is a terrible point guard and isn’t worth keeping around. I know that Billups is the reason Detroit won many of the games they did in the 2006-2007 season. But I think that the way the Pistons play basketball is on it’s way out. A team can’t just slow down their offense and shoot jumpers all day long. Because one thing I am certain about is that if you live by the jumper you will die by the jumper as well. And that is exactly what the Pistons did in many games this past season.
Like I said before, the style of basketball the Pistons won a Championship with is rapidly starting to die out. The pace of the NBA is picking up and the Pistons are slowing down. Our big men aren’t getting any younger. I hate to say it, but Chris Webber was just a liability on defense every since the Pistons picked him up. And something that I have noticed from watching the Pistons is that they don’t have a guy who they can give the ball to any time they need a basket. They don’t have any pick-and-roll plays that lead to easy baskets. All they have is a bunch of guys who run around and shoot an open jumper if they get it. And most of the time they miss.
An NBA team can’t score 80 or 90 points in a game and hope to win unless you are playing tremendous defense (or unless if your playing Boston or Memphis or a team like that). And since Ben Wallace left last season, the Pistons’ defense has lost much of it’s intensity. So, unless you are going to invest in a great scorer, you really don’t have much hope of becoming an NBA power.
My point in all of this is still whether or not Chauncey Billups should come back. And if I was Joe Dumars, my answer to this matter would be no. I would try and deal Billups before July 11th for a great scorer. It would probably have to be a package deal with someone else like Jason Maxiell or Antonio McDyess. Also, it would have to be a deal where the Pistons would get someone who is an established scorer on a consistent basis. If the Pistons could get Baron Davis, Rashard Lewis, or Elton Brand for Billups and Maxiell I would be very happy.
Even if the Pistons cannot trade Billups in time, I wouldn’t resign him. Billups makes a lot of money, and all that salary cap room he takes up would be freed up if he was gone. That would make more room for anyone that the Pistons would trade for or pick up during this off-season.
Overall, the Pistons need to do something or I am afraid they will fall out of the Eastern Conference contention completely. As for Chauncey Billups, my choice would be not to resign him.