The New York Nicks have announced the release of veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, a move necessary to clear up cap space to acquire Tyson Chandler.
Taking over for Billups will be free agent veteran Mike Bibby who signed onto the team with a one-year deal that matches the veteran’s minimum.
Billups was under contract with the Knicks for $14.2 million and now under the NBA amnesty rule teams below the salary cap can bid on his services before he becomes a free agent, a move that could lead to Billups’ retirement. Speaking to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian O’Connor, the players agent Andy Miller said he would seriously considering retiring if picked up on waivers by a non-contending championship team.
In a statement Billups said:
“If I get claimed by a team I don’t want to play for, I would absolutely consider retirement,” while adding, “The game’s been really good to me, and I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I’ve made a lot of money, and I’ve saved most of it. I don’t need the money now. I want to be able to play for something, a championship, and I want to be able to have my own destiny in my hands. If I don’t, then retiring might have to be a decision I make.”
In being thrust from Colorado to New York and now from New York to a yet unknown destination Billups cleared the air on Saturday, noting that he was tired of the constant shuffle:
“I’m not a selfish guy at all, never have been, but if I was a little more selfish maybe things would’ve been different for me,” he said. “I’ve carried myself the way I was taught to, and in a lot of situations in my career I haven’t been given the same respect.
Billups averaged 16.8 points and 5.4 assists last season when playing for both Denver and New York.
Praising the acquisition of Mike Bibby coach Mike D’Antoni defended his rather dismal postseason last year in which Bibby shot 28 percent from the field with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 23-to-17:
“You know, we’ll see. I have a high level of confidence in him. He’s a smart player. He can shoot the basketball and I think you know what you’re going to get.”
Do you think dumping Chauncey Billups for Mike Bibby was a smart move by the New York Knicks?