Tag:New York Knicks
Posted on: December 10, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 9:28 pm
 

Billups would consider retirement, rips Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

Just a few months after the Knicks exercised their $14.2 million option on Chauncey Billups, they were turning around and using the amnesty clause to cut him and that $14.2 million off the salary cap.

Why? In order to sign big man Tyson Chandler, but the fact Billups was axed with seemingly no second thought, especially with the team not really having a point guard to replace him, was a bit surprising. Not just to us, but to him.

And he was ready to vent a bit about it. Via ESPN NY, Billups talked about getting waived, the Knicks, what his next plans are and where he wants to go.

On the Knicks: "I think they are probably a couple of pieces short, but I wont say what those pieces are." Presumably a point guard, right?

On his place within the organization: "From the first day I got there it was about who was going to be next point guard, without giving me a real chance. The whole deal with Denver was about Melo ... But I dont think the Knicks valued what else they got in the deal.

"If Im healthy versus Boston, we've got a really good chance in that series. But once I got hurt "it's like (the Knicks) forgot all about the impact I did have on that team."

Billups said that he doesn't see the Knicks succeeding by running the ball through Carmelo Anthony, "especially in Mike's system, where the point guard is so important."

Billups also played a strange "woe is me" card though saying that he's been through a lot and that the Knicks didn't give him a fair chance.

"I dont know of any player of my magnitude ... thats gone thru what I've gone through. Not one," he said. "It's not in my makeup to be selfish, but it just feel like this time i need to be a little more concerned with me ... I can go back 13, 14 years where everyone loves me and yet I'm always the one who pays the price."

What's next for him? He heads to the waiver wire where any team can claim him. If nobody does, then he'd become a free agent. But it's not that simple for Billups.

"If I get claimed by team I dont want to play for, I would absolutely consider retirment," he said. Would one of those teams possibly be the Heat?

"I want a chance to win, so any team that's playing for it all, I'd be interested in ... I'm still playing at a high level. I'm not interested in going somewhere to be a mentor coming off the bench."

The better the team, the better a chance Billups would get another shot at the team that seemingly cast him aside without much thought.

"I would like a chance at them, I'll tell you that much," he said. "I'd absolutely love that."
Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Knicks sign Chandler, amnesty angry BIllups

Posted by Ben Gollivertyson-chandler

The New York Knicks completed two major roster moves on Saturday, formally announcing the signing of free agent center Tyson Chandler and confirming that the team has used the amnesty clause to waive point guard Chauncey Billups

The Chandler signs comes as part of a 3-way sign-and-trade between the Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks and the Washington Wizards. New York gets Chandler, the rights to Ahmad Nivins and Giorgos Printezis from Dallas; Dallas gets second-year guard Andy Rautins from New York and a protected 2012 second round pick from the Wizards; Washington gets Knicks center Ronny Turiaf a 2013 second round pick plus a reported $3 million in cash from the Knicks.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported on Thursday that New York was the favorite to land Chandler, a key member of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. Chandler's deal is reportedly worth four years and $58 million. 

The Knicks will receive cap relief on the $14.2 million owed to Billups for the 2011-2012 season, the final year of his contract. Billups was reportedly very upset by the decision; he will now enter a blind bidding pool of teams where only teams that are below the salary cap can compete for his services. His stay in New York was short: he was traded along with forward Carmelo Anthony prior to the 2011 trade deadline.

By shedding Billups, Turiaf and Rautins, the Knicks have actually created cap space for themselves despite the sizeable offer to Chandler. They will need it. Having lined up the best 3-4-5 combination in the NBA with Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks must now work quickly to address their backcourt, which is about as barren as it gets. 

New York's thinking here is pretty clear: dream target Chris Paul seems destined for the Lakers and Chandler was arguably the best catch in this current free agency pool, making an excellent consolation price. A premier shot-blocker and team defender, Chandler fills New York's gaping hole in the middle, making life easier for both Stoudemire and Anthony. While people will pause before calling this a true "Big 3", it's a dominant trio. Chandler is mobile enough to keep up with a fast-paced offense, but the biggest question is his durability, as he has missed at least eight games in five of the last six seasons. The Knicks will be very thin and at a major disadvantage whenever he is unable to suit up.

The Wizards did nicely here as the facilitator, grabbing a solid asset in Turiaf, who is in the final year of his contract and is paid just $4.3 million. He fills a frontcourt hole and doesn't require a long-term or big-dollar salary commitment, perfect for a Washington team that's still in rebuilding mode. The extra picks and the cash to cover most of Turiaf's deal are just icing on the cake. 

For Dallas, this is a major blow. Conventional wisdom around the league dictated that billionaire owner Mark Cuban would do everything in his power to retain Chandler, who averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 block last season. Instead, he acquired a few minor assets and a large trade exception, which could definitely prove useful, in exchange for Chandler's departure to the Big Apple and must now work to fill his center hole with limited cap flexibility. Cuban's stated goal is to increase his cap space for a run at a superstar next summer, which is a solid idea. It's way too soon to rule out a repeat for the defending champs, who have also recently been linked to contact with Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, but losing Chandler hurts, to be sure.

Billups is the big loser in all of this. Having apparently thought until recently that he was going to run a big-market, high-profile team on its way to a potential playoff run, his future is now left to an amnesty process that gives him no real control over his future. There will surely be bids for his reliable, veteran services, and the Knicks will recover financial savings if and when Billups is officially claimed.

In comments made to Yahoo Sports following the decision, Billups totally flipped out in an effort to dissuade teams from bidding for him.

I’ve been known as a leader, and I am a leader, but a leader can be as disruptive as he can be productive, especially when you carry a strong voice and people rally around you. This is about me now. This is about me, and teams should know that right now.”

“I want my freedom. My goal is to control my own destiny. And as you’ve seen in my career, I’ve never been in a position to do that. I know some teams out there are saying, ‘Oh, Chauncey will be great in mentoring’ and I’m tired of that. I’ve got a few good years left to play, and I’m not trying to come in and sit on the bench, or be a mentor. I’m not going to be that guy. I want to go somewhere and win. I want to choose.”

The goal here obviously is to create a situation where he can sign on for cheap with a championship contender or to ensure that he doesn't have to play for a middling team. Other than creating this sort of public outcry, Billups has no real leverage or control in the process. We now wait to see whether teams heed his threats.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Tyson Chandler says he will sign with Knicks

By Matt Moore  

The Knicks have their man, and it's not CP3. Even after talks broke down in a deal that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, leaving open the possibility of the point guard joining the team he toasted in 2010, the Knicks have agreed to a deal with center Tyson Chandler. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday that the Knicks had moved to the front of the line for the 29-year-old veteran who was a key component in the Dallas Mavericks' championship run. 

Chandler joined a Dallas radio station Friday to announce he would sign with New York and thank fans and the Mavericks organization. Dallas is clearly pushing to clear cap space in advance of 2012's free agency class, which seems to be narrowing every second, with both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard heavily involved in trade rumors that would put them on teams they would then re-sign with in July. 

The New York Times reports his asking price was a four-year, $58 million deal, which puts him at an average of $14.5 million per year. Compared to the ridiculous amount the New Jersey Nets are reportedly offering Nene, that makes Chandler a steal. It's a big win for the Knicks, who need a better interior defender and legitimate center. There are injury concerns with Chandler along with his age, but in a league that's short on big men, and for a team so despereately in need of defense and rebounding, this was a spectacular fit. 

Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony now make up arguably the best three-man frontcourt in the league. With Melo's perimeter range, Stoudemire's post and elbow offense, and Chandler's ability to clean up the offensive glass, the Knicks will be in a prime position to contend for the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least. To get this deal done, however, Chauncey Billups will be amnestied, something Billups is dead set against, and the Knicks will have to find some way to bring in a competent starting point guard. Toney Douglas hasn shown flashes but not enough overall, and rookie Iman Shumpert is an unknown at this point, playing under Mike D'Antoni who's not the rookie-friendliest coach in the league.

But Chandler does address immediate concerns, and helps out Stoudemire immensely. Stoudemire is a poor help defender, and Chander is excellent at that. Stoudemire lacks the length and size to play center, Chandler is a pure five. Stoudemire struggles with double-teams in traffic, Chandler can finish off dum-offs. And Stoudemire is an attrocious rebounder and Chandler is of high caliber. 

The Knicks have a big man, a true 5. They may not get Chris Paul, but they're going to be a better team in 2011-2012. 

Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Knicks in the lead for Tyson Chandler

By Matt Moore  and Ben Gollivertyson-chandler

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports a stunner. Berger reports that the New York Knicks have emerged as the leader for Tyson Chandler, ahead of the Warriors, who reportedly offered Chandler a four-year, $60 million deal Thursday. Berger reports that the Golden State offer isn't as "robust" as the report from California indicated.

In order to make room for Chandler, Berger says the Knicks would use the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, or trade him, then move Ronny Turiaff. 

In the wake of Berger's report, ESPN.com reports that there is a "98 percent" chance Chandler winds up with the Knicks and that the Warriors will turn their attention to Los Angeles Lakers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan. Yahoo Sports reports the Knicks are close to a 4-year deal with Chandler worth $58 million.

How this move would affect the Knicks' pursuit of Chris Paul is not known at this time. It would give the Knicks their best interior defender and a game-changer at the rim. The Knicks would be in a dire position for point guard to run D'Antoni's offense. Along with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks would feature an even better frontcourt, one of the best in the league. With the Knicks' biggest issue being defense, Chandler would revamp their team. 

Should the Knicks not wind up with Paul (if, say, he goes to the Lakers as a Houston-New Orleans-Los Angeles deal is being volleyed), they'd still have an excellent core. Stoudemire's primary weaknesses are at-rim defense and rebounding, and yet he's been forced to play center for the past six seasons of his career. Chandler provides everything the Knicks need to quell questions about their defense and toughness. The point guard duties would then fall to Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert, a rookie who has captured the hearts and minds of Knicks fans like... every player the Knicks have drafted for forty years.

Stoudemire is nearly untradeable should the Knicks still be pursuing Paul, as the insurability of his knees following surgery six years ago leaves questions about his long-term health. Ironically, Stoudemire would benefit most from the addition of Paul and Chandler, with Chandler covering his deficiencies down low and Paul working with Stoudemire in the pick and roll which made him an MVP candidate in Phoenix next to Nash. But the Knicks would almost certainly not trade Carmelo Anthony due to both his name brand value and the work that was put in to acquire him initially.

The Knicks' plan isn't clear at this point, it may never be clear. But even with limited cap space, they remain a major player in this short NBA "offseason," even before signings can happen.

The question is now whether this is the end game for the Knicks, or whether it is a secondary move in pursuit of Paul, should they manage to land Chandler.

Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 10:52 pm
 

2011-2012 NBA schedule: strength analysis

Posted by Ben Golliver

bulls-spurs
Aside from cutting the 2011-2012 NBA regular season length down from 82 games to 66 games, the lockout had one major impact on this year's schedule: every Western Conference team is no longer able to play a home-and-home series with every Eastern Conference team, and vice versa. Instead, each team gets just 18 non-conference games instead of 30, playing just three non-conference opponents twice.

Is this a big deal? Imagine you're the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, coming off one of the worst seasons any NBA team has every played. Would you rather play the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks twice each or would you prefer the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets? Obviously, your preference would be to stack up as many games as possible against poor teams.

There was no perfect solution for the NBA to balance this aspect of the schedule. Thanks to player movement, back-to-backs, back-to-back-to-backs, and the like, just about every team in the league feels like it's getting a raw deal this year. The distribution of non-conference opponents is sure to be a sore spot for some fanbases and a point of happiness for others.

So who are the first glance winners and losers? Let's take a look using a simple method.

Elite Winners: San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls

There are two clear winners when it comes to this aspect of the schedule and it just so happens that the winners were the league's top-2 teams during the regular season last year. Let's pencil it out using a straightforward win differential based on last season's performance.

The Spurs won 61 games last year and their three repeated non-conference opponents are Cleveland, Orlando and Philadelphia. Those three teams averaged a combined 37 wins last season. 61-37 gives you a differential of +24, the highest of any team in the league.

Chicago, who won 62 games last year, got similarly good luck, facing New Orleans, Memphis and Sacramento, who averaged 39 wins last year, yielding a +23 differential. If the Hornets wind up trading Chris Paul prior to their games with the Bulls, Chicago's advantage here becomes even more pronounced.

Elite Losers: Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder

Boston, with 57 wins, and Oklahoma City, with 56 wins, both were among the NBA's elite last year. However, both drew exceedingly difficult home-and-home opponents, likely by virtue of their television-friendly teams. 

Boston plays the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Thunder twice each. The Thunder is set to play the Celtics, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic twice each. If Tyson Chandler and/or Dwight Howard change teams prior to the start of the season that would probably be appreciated in Massachusetts and Oklahoma. 

Both Boston and Oklahoma City, despite being well above .500 last year, have differentials of zero thanks to the tough scheduling.

Marginal Winners: Houston Rockets

The Rockets won just 43 games last year, missing out on the Western Conference playoffs. While they will struggle to climb up the Western Conference playoff table, they'll do it with the help of playing three of the East's weakest sisters: Charlotte, Toronto and Washington. It doesn't get much more cake than that. Houston winds up with a differential of +17 in these home-and-home match-ups, good for third best in the league.

Marginal Losers: New York Knicks

The Knicks are a premier team in the hearts and minds of just about everyone but they still won just 42 games last year. Given their acquisition of new star power and their big-city locale, the NBA has made sure they play plenty of marquee match-ups. Indeed, the Knicks are set to face home-and-homes with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, getting a bit of a reprieve with the Sacramento Kings. Still the presence of two 57-win teams from last year gives New York a differential of -4, tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the worst mark of any 2011 playoff team. 

Terrible Winners: Detroit Pistons

During the offseason, I graded Detroit's roster as the worst in the league and thankfully the schedulers had some mercy, scheduling the Pistons against Memphis, Minnesota and Sacramento, giving Detroit extra games against the two worst teams in the West. Despite winning just 30 games and heading to the lottery once again, the Pistons manage to have a +1 differential in this category, a pretty astounding feat.

Terrible Losers: Cleveland Cavaliers

It's no secret: the Cavaliers were garbage last year, setting an NBA record for consecutive losses and winning just 19 games overall. They didn't get lucky here, drawing home-and-homes with the league-best San Antonio Spurs and two middle-of-the-pack teams in the West: Phoenix and Utah. That's good enough for a league-worst -28 differential. By comparison, the 17-win Timberwolves drew Charlotte, Detroit and Indiana and had a -17 differential.

Remember, this is just one minor elements in the league's overall 2011-2012 adjusted schedule. Still, it's interesting to see the range involved. Here's a chart to help visualize what's happening. Click here for the full-size version.

chart-small-500

Here's a complete list of the differentials in 2010-211 win totals between each NBA team and the average of its three repeat non-conference opponents on the 2011-2012 schedule. All numbers rounded.

San Antonio Spurs 24
Chicago Bulls 23
Houston Rockets 17
Portland Trail Blazers 14
Denver Nuggets 14
Utah Jazz 11
Memphis Grizzlies 8
Phoenix Suns 7
Dallas Mavericks 5
Los Angeles Lakers 5
Indiana Pacers 4
Atlanta Hawks 4
Golden State Warriors 2
Los Angeles Clippers 2
New Orleans Hornets 2
Miami Heat 2
Detroit Pistons 1
Boston Celtics 0
Oklahoma City Thunder 0
Charlotte Bobcats -1
Orlando Magic -3
New York Knicks -4
Philadelphia 76ers -4
Milwaukee Bucks -11
New Jersey Nets -12
Minnesota Timberwolves -17
Washington Wizards -18
Sacramento Kings -21
Toronto Raptors -24
Cleveland Cavaliers -28
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:47 pm
 

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

Posted by Royce Young



When you have a season, you have to have a schedule. That's how it works, right?

Though it's abbreviated and not every city will see every team, the NBA put out its 66-game schedule Tuesday night.

And as it typically goes, within each schedules there your usual dregs and ho-hum matchups and there are big, storyline-filled mega showdowns. So let's get to it. What are the can't-miss games for this NBA season? Here are 21 you need to clear the calendar for, excluding the obvious can't-miss slate of Christmas games:

Dec. 26: Memphis at San Antonio:
It was stunning at the time, but after watching the Grizzlies rip through the Spurs before bowing out to the Thunder in seven-game, it felt like we should've seen this coming. And this was with the Grizzlies missing their best scorer in Rudy Gay.

Dec. 26: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
Jimmer Mania will finally get off to its NBA start and the league was kind enough to let it begin at home. You can be sure Sacto will be buzzing with the hated Lakers coming to town and Jimmer's debut, but there could be more to the hype than that. There could be a little optimism for the Kings are Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and company might have a little something brewing this season.

Dec. 26: Oklahoma City at Minnesota
Before there was Jimmer Mania, there was Rubio Fever. We've just had to wait a while for it. Anctipation! Kevin Love will finally be able to believe what he sees as the floppy-haired Spaniard takes the floor with the Timberwolves for the first time against Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder.

Dec. 27: Boston at Miami
The first meeting between the Heat and Celtics since last season's playoff series. It's no secret that LeBron and Wade don't really get along well with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The more teams don't like each other, the better.

Dec. 29: New York at Los Angeles Lakers
Maybe the two most visible franchises in the league with two rosters full of stars. Amar'e Stoudemire head-to-head against Pau Gasol is an awesome matchup, but if we're lucky, it'll be iso battles between Melo and Kobe for the last couple minutes of the game.

Dec. 29: Dallas at Oklahoma City
The first Thunder opportunity for payback and redemption would've come almost two months into the old season, but now it gets to happen right away. You can be sure the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center will be amped about this one. The last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City, they broke the Thunder’s heart with that ridiculous 15-point comeback. No way Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans have forgotten.

Jan. 1: Cleveland at New Jersey
Top pick Kyrie Irving will have a handful of games under his belt by the time he heads to New Jersey, but this will be his first game against an elite point guard. How will he hold up against Deron Williams? This could be a quick welcome-to-the-NBA moment for the Cavs new franchise kid.

Jan. 5: Dallas at San Antonio
The old champs versus the new ones provides a new twist to an old rivalry. These two Texas titans have never gotten along and have had some pretty awesome games over the past decade or so. You can be sure that for once, Dirk and the Mavs will have a bit more swagger in Dallas as the Mavs take the floor against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Funny how a ring can do that.

Jan. 13: Chicago at Boston
It's the Thibodeau Bowl. The Celtics might be aging but you know they aren't going to just hand the East over. The Bulls are rising and you know they want to rub last year's triumph over the Celtics in the regular season in their face.

Jan. 14: Lakers "at" Clippers
By no means have the Clippers caught up to the Lakers, but there is a chance that this team could be pretty decent. After a horrific start to last season, the Clippers put together a solid last four months of the season. Some might be looking at this game as a changing-of-the-guard type of affair -- which it's not -- but the Clippers could definitely raise some eyebrows.

Jan. 14: New Jersey at Utah
It'll certainly be more unceremonious as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but Deron Williams coming back to Utah will definitely have the attention of Jazz fans. There's some that still blame Jerry Sloan's retirement on Williams and that whole situation didn't sit well in Salt Lake. Williams will likely feel some anger from Jazz fans, even if it's not entirely deserved.

Jan. 19: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami
I'm not totally sure, but I think Kobe is still in American Airlines Center shooting. Kobe loves beating LeBron and you know the feeling is mutual. Two of the league's biggest, most visible teams with the two biggest, most visible stars. If you aren't watching, I have to wonder what the heck you could possibly be doing.

Jan. 20: Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando
The first time the Lakers visit the Magic. The question is, will Dwight Howard be playing home, or away?

Jan. 29: Chicago at Miami
A rematch of the Eastern Finals. Derrick Rose's last memory of the Heat is LeBron and Wade storming back in Chicago and stealing Game 5 when the Bulls had it all but won. These two teams will likely be the class of the East and with this being the first meeting of the season, somebody's going to make a statement.

Feb. 9: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston
It's the league's best rivalry, maybe sports' best rivalry. Every Celtics-Lakers game is an event. I don't think I even need to give you reasons why this game is huge.

Feb. 17: Miami at Cleveland
LeBron returns, again. It's the third time he's played in Cleveland since "The Decision" and some of the sting certainly has worn off, at least in that fans won't be buying tickets ONLY to yell at LeBron. But you can be sure that an unusual amount of Maverick blue will be littered throughout Quicken Loans Arena.

Feb. 17: New Orleans at New York
Take a good look at Chris Paul and wish, Knicks fans, assuming CP3 still is in NOLA. You know he's a free agent in 2012 and you know he'd look pretty nice alongside Amar'e and Melo. But he's on the other side right now and there's a pretty good chance he's going to drive you crazy, at least on this night.

Feb. 23: Lakers at Oklahoma City
The Lakers always bring out the best in Thunder fans, and that's saying something. Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, Bynum, Gasol, Harden, Perkins -- the names are there and the games are always good.

March 25: Miami at Oklahoma City
LeBron and Kevin Durant. Two of basketballs most enjoyable, explosive talents that are always easy on the eye. The Thunder have always been painted as the anti-Heat, but the young kids from OKC don't care about making a statement for the little guy. There may be a good storyline, but it's more about a really good Eastern team versus a really good Western team.

April 1: Miami at Boston
LeBron and Wade return to the scene of one of their greatest crimes. The Heat opened the season in Boston and took an embarrassing, humbling loss at the hands of the Celtics but got revenge in the postseason, besting the Celtics in five with the final game coming on the parquet. It's not exactly a rivalry, but again, the Heat don't enjoy the Celtics and the Celtics certainly don't enjoy the Heat.

April 15: Miami at New York
The two supposed "super" teams meeting in Madison Square Garden with potential Eastern seeding implications? Yes, please. LeBron against Melo is good stuff no matter what, but you can be sure the Knicks will be trying to push the Heat with a stronger roster by this point.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:57 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Carmelo is not returning to Denver this year

Posted by Royce Young

There are going to be a number of scheduling casualties because of the shortened 66-game schedule. Not every team will visit every city, so some places will miss out on big nights where Kobe or LeBron or Durant come to town.

Just the breaks when you cut 20 percent off.

One major schedule bummer: Carmelo Anthony won't be making a return to Denver this season.

The Knicks won't be traveling to the Rockies this season to take on whatever incarnation of a team the Nuggets have.

Obviously Melo's return to the Pepsi Center wasn't going to have near the vitriol or anger that LeBron's return to Cleveland had, but still, it was going to be a marquee night in the NBA. Any time a star that carried a franchise leaves and returns, it makes for good storylines.

Melo's departure wasn't all that ugly, but he did essentially force a trade out of Denver, leaving that team slightly a mess. To the credit of the Nuggets though, they recovered very well and made a playoff run, falling to Oklahoma City in the opening round of the postseason. But the effects of the deal are being felt this season as the Nuggets only have a handful of players under contract currently and are likely losing their best player in Nene.

So if it's to be a frustrating season in Denver, the shame is that the man that sort of has caused it isn't even coming back to be yelled at.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Chauncey BIllups: Please don't trade me, Knicks

Posted by Ben Golliverchauncey-billups-nyk

Veteran NBA point guards are supposed to be floor generals, not pawns. No wonder New York Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups is upset at all the recent trade rumors involving his team.

The New York Times interviewed Billups on Friday and he made it clear that a trade involving him would be quite upsetting. What triggered this? The "Chris Paul wants to go to New York" rumors, of course. 
“It wouldn’t make me happy,” Billups said Friday in a phone interview from his Denver home. “Because for me, at this juncture in my career, I just want to win.”

“I want to win another championship,” he said. “I think we got some good pieces in New York. I felt like we were making that move to be possibly one of those top teams. I don’t want to play for no team that’s rebuilding.”
Billups' sentiment here is well-founded. When it comes to superstar moves, nobody really wants to be a toss-in or part of the outgoing package. Aside from professional pride, there's the issue of uprooting your family, learning a new system, adapting to a new coach and fitting in with new teammates. The NBA is a business so all of that is usually taken for granted, but that doesn't make the process any more pleasant.

If the Knicks did trade Billups, he would join his third team since just before the 2011 NBA trade deadline, when the Denver Nuggets off-loaded his 8-figure contract in a blockbuster deal that saw All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony land with the Knicks. Billups' 2011-2012 expiring contract is worth $14.2 million, meaning it's a virtual guarantee that he will be a part of any trade for a name player that the Knicks execute this season. 

Acquiring Billups, 35, would provide instant financial relief for a team looking to rebuild, but that alone won't be nearly enough to swing another blockbuster. The Knicks will need to find a way to turn their current players into draft picks -- since they've already traded a number of their own picks in previous deals -- or sign free agents that could be repackaged in a larger trade if they want to land a name talent.

The other option, of course, would be to wait until next summer to chase a third leg for their All-Star tripod, as they figure to have loads of cap space once Billups' contract expires. Surely that would be Billups' preferred strategy because it would allow him one last run in the Big Apple and a chance to make amends for going down with injury during the 2011 playoffs, a loss that helped the Boston Celtics sweep New York out in four games.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com