Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chauncey Billups is done with the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are the seventh team Chauncey Billups has played with in his career (he played two separate stints in Denver) and may possibly be the last team he will ever play with after suffering a season-ending injury against the Orlando Magic on Monday night. He is done for the season with a torn Achilles but with the severity of the injury and his advanced age, he also may have played his very last game in the NBA.

The past couple of years have been pretty rough on Billups who was included in the Carmelo Anthony trade between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks, then unceremoniously waived by the Knicks to start this season. Recognizing that his career would be winding down soon, Billups told teams not to pick him up off waivers because he wanted to go out on his own terms.

The Clippers were confident they could convince him they were a good fit and picked him up off waivers anyway. Billups initially resisted but quickly warmed to the idea of playing with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

And things were going well for him so far this season before he ended up suffering the worst injury of his career. Another tough break for Billups who was playing on his fourth team in the past five seasons.

That’s not to say that he can’t come back from this injury but he does face long odds. There are players that have come back from a torn Achilles but none of them were as old as Billups who will be 36 by the start of the 2012-2013 season.

Dominique Wilkins made the All-Star game after coming back from a ruptured Achilles and he was only three years younger than Billups is now. Wilkins scored well but he didn’t defend or dunk as well as before his injury.

That is a promising sign offensively for Billups who has never been a dunker but he does take a lot of pride in his defense. Plus the desire to go out on top may be enough to motivate him to push for a comeback next season but if he does make it back it may not be with the Clippers.

The Clippers are looking to bring in another guard to replace Billups’ size and production. They hope to find one by the trade deadline but if not then they will definitely be looking to replace him in the offseason. The Clippers hope to be championship contenders next season and will want someone they feel they can count on to play out the whole season.

Which is not a guarantee Billups can give them. There will probably be a few playoff contenders willing to spend the minimum to sign him but they are going to want to know that his Achilles is fully healed and that he can play at a high enough level to contribute.

But most of all Billups will want to go to a situation that he is comfortable with. Given his current injury situation , Billups may be amenable to coming off the bench for some team next year but if he insists on starting then he may have a hard time finding suitors. Where ever he ends up it’s doubtful he will be wearing a Clippers uniform next season. 

Roosevelt Hall is an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2 and also writes for Shatter The Backboard. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist and add him on Facebook Roosevelt Hall Thesportmentalist.  

No comments:

Post a Comment