Chauncey Billups, by all accounts, is a pretty decent fellow. He might hoist up a few too many unsolicited 3-balls, but you know the saying, when in New York…

I open with that thought because he came off like a pretty big dolt recently when he warned the league that he wanted to pick his next team, and that no one should bother bidding on his services. He had just been amnestied — joining the likes of Gilbert Arenas and Charlie Bell — so, I can understand his frustration. But now he has a golden opportunity that he should be itching to take: the Los Angeles Clippers have won the auction for his services.

Yes, the Clippers are a golden opportunity. Sure, it may have been nice for Chauncey to hand the ball to the likes of Dwyane Wade and register an assist he probably didn’t deserve — as he would if he could join the Miami Heat — but the Clippers are honestly something quite unique. And not in the old Clipper way.

It starts, obviously, with Blake Griffin. This summer, he kept tabs on his teammates and even hosted a week long camp for them in Los Angeles. Yes, the Clippers were putting in extra work. I know, these tales are what sports movies are made of, but can anyone possibly question anything Blake Griffin does? He came in to the league last season and made the All-Star team, went for 22, 12 and 4, was second in total free throws attempted, fifth in total minutes played, and sixth in total rebound percentage. Rookies don’t do those things, Hall of Famers do.

When we visited Los Angeles last month on the “No Season Required” tour, we stopped by Loyola Marymount University to interview DeMar DeRozan. We were told Blake was inside LMU’s gym taking 3-ball after 3-ball after 3-ball. He told Bill Simmons that he was playing small forward a lot this summer, guarding guys who were quicker and taking them off the bounce. Billy didn’t follow up with a question regarding the position change (silly Billy) but it’s clear — Blake’s gonna get better. In fact, he probably already has, and that’s a scary thought. Most NBAers make their big jump in year three, but since Griffin is an early starter, let’s expect a significant improvement in his sophomore campaign.

The man who Blake is most excited to play with, Eric Gordon, hasn’t been traded for Chris Paul yet, and is healthy again. Just like Griffin, we all have huge expectations for the 23-year-old Gordon. I mention EG’s age because this team is young and it feels like they’re on the precipice of something a little larger than highlight reel compilations. Think the Thunder two years ago.

Simultaneous to the acquisition of Billups, the Clips smartly matched the Warriors offer for 23-year-old DeAndre Jordan. Chris Kaman is back healthy too after only playing in 32 games last season. Journeyman Ryan Gomes, who played the third most minutes for LA in 2010-11 out of necessity, has been replaced by the steady Caron Butler. A lineup of Billups, Gordon, Butler, Griffin, and Jordan — with Kaman and Mo Williams coming off the bench — is pretty damn solid.

It’s irrational for Chauncey to pass up a chance-y (sorry) to play on this team. I understand it would be nice for him to be running the Heat or Spurs or Lakers, but as a man who has already won a title, why not play with one of the potential all-time greats that is on the verge of finding his way? Why not impose a veteran influence on a unit that needs it rather than on an elite team that will render it next to useless? Why not grow with the promising Clips these next couple years and see what materializes? Sure, it’s a harder road, but nothing’s guaranteed with the big boys either, and this is a team that wants you so bad, it was willing to outbid others for your services.

I heard what you said a few days ago about wanting to join an elite team, Chauncey, but now that the hormones have subsided, take a look at how good this situation truly is. Plus, if you decide to join LA and you wanna continue being a jerk, you’ll fit in perfectly with Donald Sterling.

Comments (20)

  1. How bout the Heat?

  2. Amnestied Mo, but still, fun squad

  3. Well said, I hope Billups goes the the Clippers, and they withdraw from the Chris Paul drama.

    Billups/Mo Williams/Bledsoe is really solid IMO….plus I seem to be the only one to think that Chris Paul’s knee is not going to hold long term without cartilage

  4. wowww, I’ve never seen much of your writing Tas. It sounds just like how you talk, reading this is like hearing an audiobook of you (weirdd)

  5. This whole thing is confusing to me. The Clips can’t trade him now that they’ve claimed him. But, based on the stuff he’s said, this does not sound like a guy who will be happy if he has to come in and back up Chris Paul, and the Clips should know that. So…..what’s the plan? Forget about the Paul deal (which right now ESPN is saying has been rekindled again)?

  6. “I heard what you said a few days ago about wanting to join an elite team, Chauncey…”

    I can’t believe I’m going to type this but if Chauncey joins the Clip Joints, he moves them one step closer to that “elite” label. Aside from catostrophic injuries, there’s no reason why they can’t make the leap & be a top 4 team in the West. With the right matchup in the 2nd round vs. a veteran team playing on old legs(I see you Lakers & Mavs), they could make for 1/2 of one hell of a competitive WCF.

    A bigs combo of Kaman, Jordan, & Griffin pretty much covers the entire skill set you need out of your 4 & 5′s. Gomes & Butler is a tough as nails combo at the 3, with the ability to help in a pinch at the 4 in a small lineup.

    As for the backcourt, the Clippers depth is perfectly set up for the condensed season & has the luxury of always keeping (somewhat)fresh legs pushing the ball on nights when their opponents may not be up to the task. Think about Gordon/Foye at the 2, giving you all the scoring you need, & then how the PG spot will be more than covered when Bledsoe returns, joining Chauncey & Mo Will. They actually have the roster depth to now deal youth or veterans to fill a need, if one arises between now & March.

    Would the Heat or Lakers be a perfect fit? Of course. But if I’m Billups, I’d make a run with the Young Guns while his legs are still up for the challenge.

  7. All veteran players want to do at the twilight of their career is win. A chance to compete for a title before they retire. Chauncey has state the same thing, play for a contender or nothing. The clippers foolishly took him and I hope he choose to sit a season. No disrespect to the clippers but they aren’t close to winning anything. They are too young, Griffin and Gordon are too raw and Butler while a nice piece isn’t the player he once was on offense or defense. The talent on this team can as stated get some wins in the regular season but the clippers can beat another other play off team 4 times to advance. That is Lakers, Mavs, Thunder and if healthy the Spurs would beat them too. And even if you can overcome age and inexperience “coach” (and I use that term loosely) VDN who sounds more like a STD than a elite basketball mind isn’t coaching a team to a championship. He rode Derrick Rose to 2 playoff births only to get out coached by Doc Rivers both times. Long story short he should sit the year. Him playing on this team is a waste of his time and talent and is disrespectful to his career.

  8. Chauncey specifically warned teams not to bid on him.

    He specifically stated that he is interested in playing for a contender and has no interest in mentoring younger players.

    What do the Clippers do? They go out and bid on him!

    Billups has a lot of influence amongst players in the NBA. The Clippers already aren’t a very “hot” destination, and now it’s likely they are on the bad side of Billups, his friends, and his agent.

    Good luck trying to sign or re-sign any other player that shares the same agent as Billups.

    Awful decision by the Clippers.

  9. Billups will be a good fit with the L.A. Clippers if he doesn’t “retire” temporarily. They were giving up too much to get Paul, so they were smart to back out and let someone else give up too much.

    This team is loaded with young talent and depth, they will be in the playoffs this year. Not a top seed, but they should definitely be 6-8 seed.

  10. Wow. Chanucey’s a pro, and I expect him to come in and help this team compete to do something in the Western Conference. Alll you people underestimating the Clippers are very foolish. Blake Griffin is a once in a decade player. He will immediately be the hardest working and most talented player Chauncey has played with. A hybrid of KG and LeBron.

  11. You guys aren’t getting it.

    Chauncey and his agent specifically stated the he does not want to play for a non-contending team (The Clippers), or a young team and be used as a mentor (The Clippers).

    The Clippers have insulted a guy with an NBA Championship, and his agent Andy Miller. Miller has 26 other NBA players as his clients.

    Good luck getting any of those guys to sign/re-sign as free agents for the Clippers.

    Awful decision by the Clippers, and one that players around the league will taken notice of.

  12. Let me add that Billups is 35 years old. This is not a guy that’s going to come in and grow with the Clippers young core.

    As good and promising as their core is, they aren’t going to be a contender within the next 1-2 years.

    They would have been better off letting a guy like Bledsoe gain some experience and learn on the fly.

  13. Chauncey can either:

    a) spend his winter in LA, play 30 to 35 minutes a night dishing dimes to Blake the beast for regular appearances on Sports Center, be a revered mentor to a bunch of young up-and-comers, and, oh, by the way, pocket $14 million, or

    b) none of the above.

    Uh, duh.

  14. Nice article Tas, good points & well made.

    I like what the Clips are doing & if they can get CP3 without giving up EG (and CP3′s knees don’t deteriorate) they should spend most of the next decade near the top of the standings.

    They’ll probably do that even without him.

    Billups is a quality pro who foolishly shot his mouth off in the heat of the moment, he should be, and probably is, excited about this opportunity.

    Here’s hoping the Clips get CP3 & then trade for an upgrade over Donald Sterling.

    PS: Kudos to Dallas for the way they’ve gone about business in this bastardised free-agency period, all they need now is another centre.

    A big haha to the Knicks for being the stupid fucking Knicks, That team deserves to be bad. A n injury-prone ‘big’ 3 that is overpaid with no-one to get them the ball. Who’s gonna feed all those dogs?

    D-Wade for MVP. Bitches.

  15. @Turkey-Slap and all

    Billups has been bitching about something or another his whole career. He bitched before Detroit because of lack of playing time, he bitched against the coach and supporting-cast in Detroit, he bitched about the playing style in Denver (Billups doesn’t like to run, which doesn’t bode well for the Clippers), he bitched about being an aftertought in the ‘Melo trade.

    People are thrown-off by his no-nonsense style of play and think the guy is a no-nonsense guy overall… Well, breaking news (in 2005) : Billups is a dick.

  16. I’m not liking this trend of players “deciding” where they will and won’t play.

  17. chansey billups deserve a chance to end his carrer playing for nba titles and that means playing for the heat, lakers, bulls. he wont get that chance with the clippers

  18. I’ve noticed that when I get really drunk, I transform from a mild mannered, gentleman to a rowdy, trouble making crazy person. What should my drunk alter ego be? You’ve already taken gary, so that’s off the list. hook me up

  19. when did billups complain about his supporting cast when in detroit?
    was it in 2005 when 4/5 of the starting five made the all-star team?

  20. Roddy Roddy Piper? Take out? Tropical? Jimmer?

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