Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has signed a familiar face in free agent point guard Chauncey Billups. Billups led Detroit to a title during his prior stint with the club.
Billups’ six-year career in Detroit is highlighted by back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships and two NBA Finals appearances in 2004 and 2005. He was named NBA Finals MVP during the Pistons NBA Championship season in 2003-04 when he averaged 21 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. In 463 games with the Pistons, Billups averaged 17 points and 6.3 assists.
Billups and new acquisition Josh Smith will be expected to provide veteran leadership to a young and improving squad. With Brandon Knight already entrenched as the starter at the point, expect Billups to play more off the ball in addition to backing up Knight.
“We are pleased to announce Chauncey Billups’ return to the Pistons organization,” said Dumars. “Chauncey played an integral part in the success of the franchise from 2002-2008. His playmaking ability and experience will provide depth in the back court while his leadership and commitment to winning will help our club.”
Billups, 36, is a great leader, a clutch outside shooter, and a pro's pro, but the big key for him will be his health.
Since sustaining a torn Achilles with the Clippers, Billups has struggled with multiple nagging injuries and has not been able to get on the floor enough to return to his All-Star form.
The 15-year veteran is a five-time NBA All-Star, ranks fourth in NBA history for three-pointers made (1,816), and is the seventh active NBA player to reach 5,000 assists. Billups also has played in 146 career playoff games (143 starts).
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services