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Dooby
07-10-2002, 09:52 AM
Good. Keep shipping that talent to the East.
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Motown bound

Guard Billups agrees to multiyear deal with Detroit

The Detroit Pistons would be Chauncey Billups' fifth team in his five-year career.
By Marty Burns, Sports Illustrated

Free-agent guard Chauncey Billups apparently is headed to Motown.

Although it can’t be made official until July 17, the first day NBA clubs are allowed to sign players, sources confirm that Billups, a 6-foot-3 combo guard who spent the past two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has agreed in principle to a multiyear deal with the Detroit Pistons.

Billups’ agent, Andy Miller, would not comment on the negotiations. However, Miller confirmed Tuesday that his client spent last weekend visiting Detroit, where he met with Pistons general manager Joe Dumars and head coach Rick Carlisle, and came away "impressed" with the organization. He also said Billups was "leaning in a certain direction" and had no other visits scheduled.

"[Detroit] was the first and only place he visited," said Miller.

Billups, an unrestricted free agent, opted out of a deal that would have paid him $2.7 million next season. The T'wolves have said they want to keep him, but by NBA rules they could offer him no more than the league’s average salary, roughly $4.7 million. The Pistons can offer him the same money, since they have their mid-level exception, plus the chance to start.

Billups averaged 12.5 points and 5.5 assists per game last season, mostly as a backup to Terrell Brandon. He almost certainly would start at point guard next season for the Pistons, who believe Chucky Atkins is more suited to a reserve role. Billups also could see time as a backup at shooting guard to Jerry Stackhouse.

In fact, Pistons insiders say Billups’ versatility made him more attractive than Travis Best, Jeff McInnis and other free-agent point guards available. Detroit also likes the fact that at age 25, the former No. 3 overall draft pick probably has yet to reach his full potential.

"He’s a young guy who hasn’t really busted out yet, but you get the feeling that he is about to," Dumars recently told the Detroit News.

While it appears Billups has made up his mind, T'wolves GM Kevin McHale told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he hadn’t yet ruled out the guard’s return. Miller said he met with McHale on Monday and probably would have another meeting later this week.

Though Miller wouldn't comment, it is possible those discussions involve a sign-and-trade deal with Detroit.

DTL
07-10-2002, 10:24 AM
what're the wolves going to do at PG now? is brandon coming back for sure? if not, maybe they'll finally be spared the agony of not advancing beyond the first round by not making the playoffs now?

Big Boy Laroux
07-10-2002, 11:06 AM
no kidding, get that mav-killer out of the west...

Drbio
07-10-2002, 12:05 PM
Nice signing by the Pistons.