Tag:Chauncey BIllups
Posted on: August 8, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 4:04 pm
 

The EOB Elite 100, 61-70: Buy or sell



By Matt Moore


This is the third segment of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Elite 100, counting down the top-100 players in the NBA. 

Check out the earlier installments: 100-91 | 90-81 | 71-80
 

As we move on, we're starting to see an interesting mix of stars blending together with what are the NBA equivalent of critically received indie albums. Guys like Aaron Afflalo and Nicolas Batum aren't starring in commercials nationally, but they're the kind of guys who can help your team win. Six of the players in 61-70 are under 26. Only two players did not make the playoffs, and one has excellent upside and the  other missed the playoffs by only a handful of games. We're starting to get to the meat of the rankings. 

Things become tough here. Is Kyle Lowry really not as good as Chauncey Billups? Is Aaron Afflalo better than Wesley Matthews, despite a much smaller role? Can Jennings' promise make up for a downturn as a sophomore? In a difficult exercise, this is where things start to get nearly impossible. 

In figuring all this out, this is kind of like the stock market. And in times like these, you know how unstable that can be. Some of the younger players like Brandon Jennings you want to buy at a stock this low, and some of the players whose ages are getting up there you want to drop like Billups who will be 35. Just one problem. The gap between those two point guards? Winning

Right or wrong, and sometimes it's very, very wrong, being a part of a winning team means something in this league, and it means something in these rankings. There's a subtle element of making your teammates better. Maybe that's offensive rebounding and providing them more possessions. Maybe it's leadership on and off the floor, keeping their team's head where it needs to be. Maybe it's being the emotional spark plug. But most of the players on this list bring something beyond the stats, and they have the record to show for it. This is the big time, and the cost of doing business is victories. 

70. Kyle Lowry, PG, Age 25, Houston Rockets

2011 Stats: 13.5 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, .506 eFG%, 16.5 PER

Composite rankings (random order):79, 69, 67 

: This is another one of those rankings that make us nervous. Lowry was ninth among point guards playing 20 minutes in Assist Ratio. He averaged 14-7-4 and played great defense. The only thing really dragging him down statistically is his shooting percentage. Lowry raised his 3-point percentage 10 percentage points to 37 percent, and still topped out at 42 percent from the field. He's efficient, but only really in spurts. That he wound up with as great of a season as he did speaks to his overall ability. If Lowry keps improving (a challenge as he just hit 25), there's some room to jump there. As it is, we'll congratulate Lowry on a tremendous season and hope he sustains it going forward. KLOE. (Kyle Lowry Over Everything, via Zach Harper.)

69. Wesley Matthews, SG, Age 24, Portland Trail Blazers

2011 stats: 15.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg, .449 FG%, 15.5 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 53, 60, unranked

Throwing aside his rather absurd contract, Matthews ranked 47th among all guards playing 20 minutes a night in PER. He was 17th in True Shooting percentage, however, even if he was just 38th in points among the same group. Matthews is an expensive reserve guard, and that fits his spot here well. He's versatile, though. If it weren't for the glutton of players at the same role, he likely would have found himself higher.

Matthews has games where he looks very much like a quality roleplayer. He's in an uncomfortable spot, splitting time with Brandon Roy. At age 24, he's not a spring chicken, but he's still got room for growth. He needs to focus on defense to round out his game (he's already fairly solid on defense), and learn to be more of a playmaker. The Blazers need playmakers, not just finishers. He'll have a bigger role with Rudy Fernandez moved on, though. Every minute counts. 

68. Aaron Afflalo, SG, Age 25, Denver Nuggets

2011 Stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, .498 FG%, .423 3pt%, 14.8% usage

Composite rankings (random order): 79, 64, 79

Aaron Afflalo shot 50 percent from the field last year. Now, that's a pretty good number if you're a center or power forward. It's quite another thing if you're a perimeter player. Quite simply, Afflalo can shoot the rock. He's a deadly shooter who doesn't overshoot. He's like J.R. Smith with a conscience. Afflalo's likely to see his role grow in Denver next season. If he can improve defensively and become more of a playmaker, he's got a real shot at being a legit star. He's already 25, though, so the clock's ticking, just like Lowry.

Until then, he's a crack shooter on a playoff team who the Nuggets are likely making room for by letting Wilson Chandler head elsewhere and building around Lawson and Afflalo. The kid I call Spellcheck is poised to have a real shot to make himself a name. 

67. Nicolas Batum, SF, Age 22, Portland Trail Blazers

2011 Stats: 12.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, .9 spg, .6 bpg, 14.8 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 74, 65, 71

AKA The Untouchable Blazer. Batum isn't an elite scorer. He's not a tremendous rebounder or a brilliant passer. Batum is the entire package. He's a player you can plug into a rotation spot and watch him work at both ends. Key 3-pointer? He can hit it. Need a steal and a dunk? He can make it happen. Need to lockdown a perimeter weapon? He's your guy. Batum has been targeted in trade after trade in the past two years and the Blazers have rebuffed every offer. Batum's overall value as a basketball player extends beyond specific roleplay and into comprehensive ability. That's why he's here, and there's a strong likelihood he'll head up the numbers in the next few years.

66. Brandon Jennings, PG, Age 20, Milwaukee Bucks

2011 Stats: 16.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, .390 FG%, 15.6 PER, 25.5% usage

Composite rankings (random order): 

Brandon Jennings shot less than 40 percent from the field last year. You don't have to like numbers to know that's bad. Jennings had one of the worst assist ratios among point guards playing 20 minutes in the league. He suffered through an injury which held him to missing nineteen games. And his shot selection often borders somewhere between perplexing and the edge of insanity. Still, you want to buy low here. Jennings has shown a willingness to improve, he doesn't turn 21 until the fall, and has been putting in the work during the lockout. He's low today. A year from now? We think he'll be higher. For now, he's stuck with that percentage, the injury, and room to grow.

The question is if he can learn to have a shooting conscience, or if he's just going to try and do what he does, just make more. Not a bad plan, but a better philosophical approach might do wonders for the kid. 

65. Jason Richardson, SG, Age 30, free agent

2011 Stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .396 3pt%, 20.6% Usage

Composite rankings (random order): 85, 50, 70

Richardson likely would have cracked top fifty before last season. He was a key player for the Suns' 2010 Western Conference Finals run, and was filling it up as usual to start the year in Phoenix. Then in Orlando, things fell off a cliff. Richardson never got comfortable, averaged just 13.9 points on 43 percent shooting, and saw the Magic fall to the floor in the playoffs after a Hawks haymaker. Richardson's a free agent when the offseason begins, and will likely carry a large amount of interest from contenders. But at age 30, there's only so much left in the tank for Richardson as a starter.

64. Emeka Okafor, C, Age 28, New Orleans Hornets

2011 Stats: 10.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg, .573 FG%, 102 Def Rating

Composite rankings (random order): 73, 60, 70

Centers are at a premium in this league. And Emeka Okafor's a pretty good one. After a disappointing first season in New Orleans, Okafor responded and became the third component in Chris Paul-David West- capable center that the Hornets have used as a blueprint for success. Specifically, Okafor is a tremendous defender at the rim. It's true that after this year's playoffs, the Hornets look terrible for trading Tyson Chandler, now champion Tyson Chandler, but Okafor is a quality center in this league. Unfortunately at 29 next year, he'll likely never reach his draft ceiling and will have to settle for just being the kind of guy a playoff team can rely on.

63. Serge Ibaka, PF, Age 20, Oklahoma City Thunder

2011 Stats: 9.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg, .543 FG%, 6.5 blk%, 17.7 PER, 27.0 mpg

Composite rankings (random order): 63, 65, 59

Oh, Iblocka. One of the most divisive players in the league. Everyone loves his energy. Some people trust his jumper. Some people think he's impetuous and gets caught with his head spinning. Ibaka is going to improve and will be a force to reckon with. But for all his defensive stewardship, the Memphis series exposed that a crafty offensive post player can put him into a tizzy, while his offensive reportoire still needs work. Ibaka had one of the lowest variances in scores in the back half of our list. We all know he's pretty good, we just know he's not top fifty. Not yet.

62. Elton Brand, PF, Age 31, Philadelphia 76ers

2011 Stats: 15 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 18.5 PER, .512 FG%, .780 FT%

Composite rankings (random order): 43, 85, 59

 Finally, a bounceback year from Elton Brand. Brand's resurgence under Doug Collins was long overdue, but still solid. Brand scored the same number of points per 36 minutes that he did in 2010, but he shot over 50 percent for the first time since 2007. He played 81 games, helped the Sixers make the playoffs, and increased his rebounds and blocks, and lowered his turnover rate. Brand is getting up there and his ability to contribute will only decrease, especially with his knee issues.

But 18.5 PER and 1.3 blocks per game as the rock of a Philadelphia team we're still not sure how they made the playoffs? That's pretty good stuff for a guy who cruelly saw what would have been his prime ruined by injury. To work as hard as he has to get back and produce is wothy of respect, and this rating respects that. 

61. Chauncey Billups, PG, Age 34, New York Knicks

2011 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 2.0 tov, 18.7 PER, 72 games played

Composite rankings (random order): 75, 34, 74

 So two of us think Billups is pretty much over, and belongs squarely towards the end of this list. One of us thinks he's pretty good. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. Billups' field goal percentage dropped to 40 percent last season. That's just slightly better than Brandon Jennings. The difference is that Billups is exceptional at drawing fouls and converting at the free throw line, still is an excellent defender, knows how to run an offense, produces assists at a decent rate, and knows how to run a team. But most importantly, consider this. The last time Billups did not play a single game in the NBA playoffs was the year 2000. He's been a part of the playoffs for a decade, mostly in prominent roles. He'll fall down this list next year; the guy's going to be 35 for crying out loud But for now, he sticks at 61.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and HoopData
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:07 am
 

Knicks still trying to get Nash?

Posted by Royce Young

It's a dance that's been going on ever since Mike D'Antoni took the head coaching position in New York.

Steve Nash to the Knicks.

It's never really heated up to a boiling point, but always stayed at a whisper. And there's a new whisper via the New York Post.
"There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason. The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D'Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son."
The Suns have strongly denied every rumor of trading Nash and Nash himself has always said he's extremely happy in Phoenix. But he's 36 years old and his contract expires after next season. What comes then for Nash? Does he re-up with Phoenix or look elsewhere? Or does Phoenix look to dangle a very attractive trade piece at the deadline?

You can be sure if they did, the Knicks would be the first team placing a call. Despite the idea to play better defense, Nash is the perfect maestro for the Knicks. He's already great with Amar'e Stoudemire and with a scoring wing with talent like Carmelo Anthony, that would be a pretty lethal trio.

But the trade proposed here -- a straight swap for Billups -- makes zero sense for the Suns. They aren't just going to give away Nash. Billups is a nice player and their salaries line up, but Phoenix will be looking for a future rebuilding move if Nash is moved. Not something like aging point guard for aging point guard.

With Nash expiring next season though, prepare yourself to read this rumor at least two thousand more times. The New York media wants Nash there almost as much as D'Antoni and the fans do. It doesn't seem like Nash is just going to finish his career in Phoenix on an average team. It seems like he'd give a title shot one good last swing.

And maybe that comes in New York.
Posted on: June 19, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 9:51 am
 

Trade rumor: Knicks after Wolves G Jonny Flynn?

The New York Knicks are reportedly considering trading for Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn. Posted by Ben Golliver. jonny-flynn

Clear the decks for Ricky Rubio!

The Minnesota Timberwolves have finally convinced the Spanish point guard to come to the NBA for next season. That means the team must now resolve a problem created when the Timberwolves drafted two point guards in the first six picks of the 2009 NBA Draft.

The easiest way to make sure that Rubio has enough playing time and space to get acclimated to the NBA game? Ship out Flynn, of course.

The New York Daily News reports that the Timberwolves and New York Knicks have discussed a Flynn trade.
The Knicks have had preliminary discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a trade for point guard Jonny Flynn.

No formal deal is in place, but the Knicks are debating whether Flynn, the sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft would be a viable option to back up Chauncey Billups for at least one season. Flynn has become expendable now that the Wolves have signed Spanish guard Ricky Rubio, who was taken one pick ahead of Flynn.

Toney Douglas would likely be the player traded for Flynn.
If All-Star appearances were handed out based on personality, Flynn would be a perennial selection. Unfortunately, a back injury and a rough transition into coach Kurt Rambis' triangle offense have stunted his growth as an NBA player. 

To date, he's proved to be a jitterbug that can provide some scoring punch but not much else. Flynn's fit as a backup point guard would be slightly better than Douglas' but not markedly so. Both are scoring guards, but Flynn has more upside as a distributor. It's quite possible he looks much better as a playmaker when he's sharing the court with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony rather than Darko Milicic and Martell Webster.

A change of scenery will no doubt do Flynn a lot of good. Trading for Flynn, who's coming off an injury and playing for a terrible team for two years, is the definition of "buying low." One concern: He is on the books for $3.4 million next season, which is a bit more than teams like to pay for a relatively unproven backup point guard. 

The Knicks, of course, have bigger questions at point guard. They will need to move Billups at some point if they hope to become a true championship contender. This trade is definitely one you consider from New York's perspective. The more talent you get behind Billups the better. Flynn's quickness would seem to be a major asset in coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo system. 

This wouldn't be a game-changing move for the Knicks, but Flynn's charisma seems like a natural fit at Madison Square Garden.
Posted on: April 27, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Knicks pick up Chauncey Billups' option

Posted by Royce Young



The Knicks went ahead and settled one of their biggest offseason questions. They picked up a key piece's option for next season.

No, not Donnie Walsh. They picked up point guard Chauncey Billups' option, the team announced.

It's a one-year, $14.2 million option that keeps Billups as the Knicks' starting point guard for at least one more season. Billups said earlier in the week that he preferred to stay in New York because he really wanted a chance to see this new project through. Of course Billups was disappointed he wasn't able to contribute more in the Knicks' postseason as he was injured in Game 1 and was forced to sit out the next three, where New York was swept.

The Knicks also had the option of buying out Billups for just $3.7 million.

“We have made a decision to keep Chauncey Billups for the upcoming 2011-12 season,” said Walsh in a statement. “Chauncey, Amar’e and Carmelo are a great nucleus, as we continue to look to improve our team going into the off-season. Chauncey is an extremely talented and experienced point guard - we are very happy to have him back.”
Billups, 34, had a pretty good season for both the Nuggets and Knicks. He averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. His percentages did slip a bit as he shot just 40.3 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from 3, but with the Knicks he seemed to settle in well into Mike D'Antoni's offense. Plus, he's been Carmelo Anthony's point guard for the past few seasons and there's a pretty good chemistry between the two.

And since it's just a one-year option, it doesn't mess with anything the Knicks are trying to do in the future. The summer of 2012 is the one many have their eye on with Chris Paul and Deron Williams both becoming free agents. Past next season it's obviously unlikely for Billups to remain with the team, but he's probably the best option they have at this point. This summer's point guard crop is a bit watered down and it would be hard to find something better than Billups.

With Billups back though, the Knicks have a little more than $53 million tied up between him, Melo and Amar'e Stoudemire. That's actually more than Miami does with Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

The Knicks made a clear move when they dealt for Anthony and Billups. They moved a lot of young pieces that had been acquired through the draft for proven commodities. They aren't necessarily in a "win now" situation, but they also don't have the time to try and bring along a young point guard. So for one more season, Billups is a good option.

Plus, don't ignore how valuable a $14.2 million expiring deal will be. Come next trade deadline if there are other teams looking to move their star because of a looming Melo Situaiton (see: CP3 and Williams), Billups is a worthy trade chip. Not only is he a productive veteran point guard, but his contract is big to balance things and more importantly for those other teams, coming off the books at the end of the season. That really might be more at the heart of what the Knicks are doing than anything else.
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Series Reset: Knicks cope without Billups

We reset the Knicks-Celtics series with Game 2 on tap for Tuesday night. Is New York in trouble without Chauncey Billups? Posted by Ben Golliver.
ray-allen-winner

The Narrative:

A breathtaking Game 1 came down to a pair of potential game-winning threes : Celtics guard Ray Allen made his, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony didn't. The result was disappointing for Knicks fans, but the level of effort wasn't. Amar'e Stoudemire got his numbers, the bench showed up and a more efficient night from Anthony would have meant a Game 1 win. For Boston, point guard Rajon Rondo didn't shoot particularly well but he did put together a near triple-double, which is a good sign for the Celtics, as they are only going as far as Rondo pilots them.

The Hook:

One huge Game 1 sticking point that shakes things up for Game 2: the availability of Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups, who went down with a knee injury late and isn't expected to play on Tuesday. Knicks guard Toney Douglas, a second-year player out of Florida State, is expected to start in Billups' place, and will have his hands full checking Rondo. The numbers on Douglas do offer some hope. The Knicks play better when he's on the court than when he's off, although that's generally come against second-unit players. He's also upped his production during the nine games he started this season (he averaged 13.9 points and 5.7 assists as a starter, compared to 10.6 points and 3.0 assists overall). The issue, as Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni pointed out to SI.com , is how many minutes Douglas will be required to play. It could be a lot. The next guy on the depth chart is aging vet Anthony Carter, who shot 1-4 in 14 minutes during Game 1. In case you were wondering, Douglas averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 assists against the Celtics during the regular season.

The Adjustment:

carmelo-shot-chart One look at Carmelo Anthony's shot chart to the right tells you everything you need to know about what New York hopes to do differently on Tuesday. The breakdown: 5-18 from the field, 2-8 on three-pointers, 4-15 overall on jumpers, just three shots in the paint and a paltry four free throw attempts.

Anthony, one of the league's premier all-around scorers, simply must do better. Attacking Boston's solid interior defense isn't an easy proposition but there really is no alternative. Unless Anthony is able to get to the free throw line, New York will be hoping and praying that its bench shows up big for the second night in a row, a possibility made more difficult by Douglas's move to the starting lineup. 

The X-Factor:

Brilliantly laid out in video form at Posting and Toasting, Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal had a monster Game 1 defensively, blocking four shots and contesting countless others, while looking very agile in Boston's halfcourt defense. On top of all that, he made all six of his shot attempts in 23 minutes. That's the definition of quality minutes from the man tabbed to pick up the slack in Shaquille O'Neal's absence. Can he repeat, or at least approximate, that performance in Game 2?

The Sticking Point:

While all five Boston starters scored in double figures during Game 1, the bench was pretty bad. Delonte West, Nenad Krstic, Jeff Green and Glen Davis combined to shoot 4-15, scoring just eight points and grabbing eight rebounds in a combined 59 minutes. Boston doesn't need all of those guys to step up; really, they'd probably settle for just one. Asking Jeff Green to be that guy feels like a stretch these days, so let's tab Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who started some trash talking  prior to Game 1. Davis has to do a better job than his 1-8 night, since he's being asked to give big minutes behind O'Neal. He's too talented to lay an egg like that twice in a row.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 10:58 am
 

Amare' Stoudemire out Friday against Nets

Amar'e Stoudemire out Friday against Nets
Posted by Matt Moore

Amar'e Stoudemire will miss Friday night's game versus the New Jersey Nets, and Chauncey Billups may be out as well for the Knicks. Deron Williams will also miss the game after wrist surgery. 

Here's a list of the six best players that will be playing in this game. Carmelo Anthony, Brook Lopez, Toney Douglas, Anthony Morrow, Sasha Vujacic/Landry Fields. 

May God have mercy on all those who choose to make it out to Newark's arena tonight. 

Stoudemire's dealing with a sprained ankle, and with the Knicks having locked up a playoff spot, there's no reason to avoid shutting him down until he's as healthy as can be. They've only got a half-game lead over Philadelphia for the sixth seed, but really, there's not much difference between facing the Heat and the Celtics. They're outmatched either way. They have a four-game lead over the Pacers to avoid the Bulls in the first round, but then, New York's had the most success against Chicago. Go figure. 
Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Knicks slide past future neighbor Nets

Posted by Royce Young



Before everyone gets ahead of themselves, let's understand things for what they are. The Knicks beat a bad New Jersey team at Madison Square Garden, and still gave up 116 points to do it.

But things are a better right now than they were a week ago and that at least deserves some recognition. The Knicks are within a game of .500 after winning their second straight and with the schedule softening up to close the season, maybe they can re-position for the six-seed. Maybe.

Two things of note that are were mentioning from the Knicks win over the Nets:

1) Carmelo Anthony really appears to be trying to shoulder the load. "Trying" is a key word. Melo was terrific in the third going for 20 points. The fourth, he went just 1-5 for two points, but it was enough. His third quarter effort was what brought the Knicks back from 10 down to trail by just a point heading to the fourth.

He finished with 39 on 15-26 shooting. This is Melo's third consecutive game with at least 35. But even more than that, his effort defensively was for once, noticeable. He battled through screens, contested shots and crashed the defensive glass. Melo is giving a major effort right now to try and get things straightened out for New York. It's commendable.

2) The Knicks role players did something. If you check the box score, you'll see it was 39 for Melo, 23 for Amar'e Stoudemire and 33 for Chauncey Billups. They definitely did most of the work. Almost 80 percent of it. But in a big stretch in the fourth, Anthony Carter dished out three big assists and knocked down a jumper. Shelden Williams turned in three big buckets and it was his work on the glass tipping a rebound to Toney Douglas that essentially sealed the game. Shawne Williams only scored four but made a large jumper late.

The Knicks really are just a less polished, less talented version of the Heat in a way, even down to the bench. They lose this game without even the slightest contributions from their role guys. Melo, Billups and Amar'e will carry the team in most every way, but they aren't winning games, even against bad teams like New Jersey, without their benc doing something.

This Knick team is kind of fascinating and it's why so many people are writing so much about them. They just seem too good to be losing all these games. But they're now 9-12 since the trade and though it's only two wins, it's at least the right direction. Melo called the Orlando game a pretty much must-win and it was, because it relieved some stress off them.

But this team isn't built for the now. They aren't doing anything other than maybe pushing a first round opponent to six or seven games. They're too talented to be losing this much though and that's why even just back-to-back wins feels big for them.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 2:43 pm
 

The Knicks looking at Billups long-term. Why?

Knicks looking to re-sign Billups long-term, but is that the right move? 
Posted by Matt Moore

Mike D'Antoni's system requires a great point guard. That isn't just an implication from Steve Nash's prolific success in Phoenix. A team that runs that much and relies on spacing needs an elite distributor.  Forwards, bigs, they're all elements but the engine that really makes the Knicks go will be a great point guard to quarterback the offensive weapons. 

So it's surprising to learn Tuesday that according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks are considering bringing Chauncey Billups back past next season. 
Head coach Mike D'Antoni and team president Donnie Walsh are in favor of holding onto Billups beyond next season. Of course, there are no guarantees that D'Antoni and Walsh will be around beyond next season but most coaches would advocate keeping a point guard whose value extends beyond the court.

D'Antoni has publicly endorsed Billups on several occasions and believes that the one-time NBA Finals MVP can still play at a high level even though he will be 35 years old by the start of the 2011-12 season. D'Antoni has compared Billups favorably to Steve Nash, who at 37 is still going strong. The same is true of Jason Kidd, who turns 38 on March 23.

"Oh yeah, people get hung up on age," D'Antoni said. "(The talk) is he's done. He's got five more years. He was an MVP of the Finals. He's been at All-Star level. He is at an All-Star level. I just think he has at least four, five good years left."

via It makes sense for the Knicks to keep Chauncey Billups around a few more years .

Billups also told ESPN that he's interested in returning to New York. 
Chauncey Billups said late Monday night that he’s hoping to remain with the New York Knicks next season and “going forward.” Billups’ contract contains a team option for 2011-2012 for $14.2 million. The Knicks can pick up the option or buy Billups out for $3.7 million. “I haven’t ruled anything out. Obviously, I’m hoping to be a New York Knick next year and going forward after that. But I can only control so much,” Billups said.
via Billups: I hope to be a Knick in 2012 - Knicks Blog - ESPN New York .

It's interesting that Billups is so receptive to staying in New York after saying repeatedly that he wanted to retire in his hometown of Denver. But he may just be saying the right things now that he's a Knick and understanding how quickly situations can change. More perplexing is a long-term commitment to Billups, unless it's at a discounted rate. Billups, as D'Antoni said, is a former Finals MVP and former All-Star. He is a great point guard. But he's not a great point guard for D'Antoni's system. 

D'Antoni needs a distributor, someone who will probe the defense, get out in transition, open up lanes, and work for the hard pass to create open shots. Even a younger guard like Darren Collison is a better fit going forward. Billups is only going to slow down and struggle more, physically, as he gets older. Extending him will be a costly process, because he can still play at a high level. And when his price goes up, the odds of the Knicks making a move for a player like Chris Paul or Deron Williams go down. And when that happens, the Knicks settle in for the long-term with an incomplete roster shackled by an aging point guard. 

If, however, they can get Billups with a reasonable contract, to stay with the Knicks and mentor the team as a veteran, possibly working as combo-guard in the two-spot, they could really have something. It's only committing to Billups as the starter, as a member of a theoretical "Big 3" that is fraught with risks.
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com