ESPN NY has reported that the Los Angeles Clippers have officially claimed point guard Chauncey Billups, who was waived two days ago by the New York Knicks.
A five-time all-star, Billups – released under the amnesty clause in the NBA’s new labor agreement – averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 72 games for the Knicks and Denver Nuggets last season.
According to ESPN, one source with knowledge of the deal stated that the Clippers’ winning bid to land Billups in the waiver auction was just over $2 million, meaning that the Knicks will still have to pay out the remaining balance of nearly $12 million from Billups’ $14.2 million salary this season.
Had no team claimed him, Billups would have become an unrestricted free agent, sure to attract the interest of contenders such as the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Yes, I would like to see Chauncey,” Heat forward Chris Bosh told ESPN, when asked his feelings on the 35-year-old 2004 NBA Finals MVP coming to play in South Florida. “Any player with his talent, leadership, his capability on the court. He’s Mr. Big Shot. He has that name for a reason.”
There were also multiple reports on Monday that Dwight Howard planned to lobby Billups to come to Orlando if he decided to stay with the Magic.
The Clippers’ acquisition of Chauncey Billups came just hours after the team rejected a trade for New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul because the asking price was too high.