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3-on-3: Re-signing Chauncey Billups

1. How do you grade the Pistons’ signing of Chauncey Billups?

Patrick Hayes: A. It can’t undo the past, but the fact remains Joe Dumars made a colossal mistake – and I think he’ll admit as much, which is rare for a guy who is slow to admit mistakes – when he traded Billups. Billups, and not Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton, was the transitional talent the Pistons needed as Dumars undertook his stopping and starting slow rebuild over the last five years. Billups belongs in Detroit, he deserves to retire a Piston, and he actually still does a few things – taking care of the ball, making 3s, running an offense – decently enough to help fill some needs in a limited role for the team.

Dan Feldman: A-. Above all, I’ll just really be happy to see Billups in the Pistons’ red, white and blue again. Detroit’s backcourt needed upgrading, and although he’s the elite guard I dreamed of, he’s an affordable option who can help. The Pistons might have slightly overpaid, but after paying Tayshaun Prince so much for his supposed leadership, at least they’re understanding they can’t put such a premium on an intangible that’s extremely difficult to predict.

Brady Fredericksen: A-. What’s the harm? The Pistons aren’t bringing him in to be a savior. Hopefully, they aren’t even bringing him in to be a real difference-maker. The Pistons have lacked plenty over the last few seasons, but leadership has been one of the biggest voids. We’ve heard the Rodney Stuckey-is-a-Leader banter, and Greg Monroe doesn’t really have the persona to be that vocal leader, but Billups has done it and can do it here. If he can come in, give 10-15 productive minutes every few nights and hit some (perhaps big) shots from the perimeter and be that coach on the floor and calming locker room presence — it’s a worthwhile signing. Plus, The Palace is going to be bananas for the home opener with a big-name free agent and the return of a legend in Billups. Nostalgia for all.

2. What on-court role will Billups fill next season?

Patrick Hayes: He’ll be a rotation guard. I think he’ll serve as a point guard/mentor to Brandon Knight if the Pistons remain committed to the Knight-as-point guard experiment, but I also think we’ll see Billups off the ball spotting up as well. A lineup that includes Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond desperately needs some spacing, and Billups parking himself at the 3-point line can provide that. I could also see him being the team’s primary point guard down the stretch in games, taking the ball out of the hands of the turnover-prone Knight.

Dan Feldman: I can definitely see him starting with Brandon Knight in the backcourt. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope brings plenty of positive attributes, but ball-handling is not one of them. With Detroit’s jumbo front line and the spacing restrictions it will cause, not only do the Pistons need shooters, they need players capable of protecting the ball in tight spaces. Billups provides both. It’s much more tenable for Caldwell-Pope to work his way into the starting lineup rather than the chance of having to demote the young player if he’s not ready.

Brady Fredericksen: Hopefully not a huge one. Billups still has value as a rotation player — he’s still a good 3-point shooter and he’s going to make good decisions with the ball — but he’s not the old Chauncey. He shouldn’t be a full-time point guard, backs down smaller defenders or barrels into traffic to draw a foul. That’s just not realistic. Ben Wallace made his return to Detroit in 2009-10 and he was a pretty useful player (albeit for a putrid team) with his rebounding and defense. If Chauncey can give the Pistons some shooting and an extra ball handler, I think he could have some moments this year.

3. What does this mean for Brandon Knight?

Patrick Hayes: It means he won’t be handed anything. Heading into each of the last two seasons, Knight has been the presumptive starting point guard by default. The Pistons had no one on the roster equipped to challenge him for that job, even with the notable flaws in his handling of the position. Ideally, Knight goes to camp, shows massive improvement and wins the point guard job in a landslide. That will be the best outcome for the Pistons, for Knight and for fans hoping to see a better product on the court. But if he continues to be inconsistent, to be turnover prone, to struggle figuring out when to shoot or when to pass … the Pistons now have a competent option who can take that job from him. Billups is old, not a very good defensive player and probably not equipped to handle big minutes or a big role anymore. Asking Knight to beat him out to earn his spot as starting point guard is not asking a lot, but it’s still enough of a challenge that Knight will have to rise to a challenge to do it. If the Billups signing successfully pushes Knight to improve his weaknesses, it will be a major win for the Pistons.

Dan Feldman: The Pistons are giving him every tool succeed – while preparing in case he doesn’t. They hired a former star point guard, Maurice Cheeks, to coach him, and Billups would prove further mentorship. But in what could be Joe Dumars’ last season, with their first-round draft pick very likely headed to the Bobcats, the Pistons can’t afford to keep starting such an ineffective point guard. Between Chauncey Billups and Will Bynum, the Pistons will likely have an option than what Knight provided the last two years. Ideally, that’s third-year Knight. But Plan B is now more reliable.

Brady Fredericksen: That the Pistons want him to succeed, and this feels like a nudge in the right direction. Joe Dumars knows what Chauncey is at this point, a supplementary bench piece, but he’s also a piece that can help Knight. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t know how the whole "veteran teaching a rookie" thing goes in the NBA — I guess I never saw that in high school hoops — but whenever Knight picks up from Billups is a plus. Maybe it’s just something as simple as teaching him to slow the game down, which was Billups biggest problem before Larry Brown got ahold of him. I think Brandon Knight still starts at point guard, and I think there’s a good chance to see a number of Knight-Billups backcourts, too.


  • Jul 12, 20135:28 pm
    by ryank


    not to change topics, but how do you think Burke did in summer league?   seems like he really struggled to me.  Siva looked at least as good… his numbers are better.  Drummond may explain that. Summer league isn’t everything, but it is something.

    • Jul 12, 20135:59 pm
      by tarsier


      Burke had an awful SL. Whatever.

      • Jul 13, 20134:45 am
        by Brandon Knight


        Bro you cried when Dumars didn’t draft him lol … you were wrong boooo

        • Jul 13, 20138:33 am
          by RyanK


          Hopefully Burke will find his shot and pick up quickly on distributing the ball.  By all accounts, he sounds like a good kid.  The Pope started slow, but showed some flashes the last 2-3 games.  I hope Joe D made the right call drafting the Pope over Burke.

        • Jul 13, 20133:28 pm
          by Huddy


          Bro you must not know much about summer league.  if SL is so important then Siva probably should have been drafted over KCP.

        • Jul 14, 20132:48 am
          by tarsier


          You’re going to conclude an impression of a guy based on SL?

          If you do that, we don’t even need to bother to talk about anything else, you are plainly a very unintelligent person. SL gives us about as much information as one random regular season game. 

        • Jul 14, 20132:53 am
          by tarsier


          And yes, I’m still annoyed that Dumars didn’t draft him.

  • Jul 12, 20135:53 pm
    by jacob


    In the end I think Burke will be a very good back up point guard.

    • Jul 12, 201311:01 pm
      by RyanK


      If Burke ends up being just a back up, he will be a big disappointment to the posters on this board.  Taking Pope over him is a curse that will hang over this franchise for the next 15 years while championship banners fly in Utah…at least according to the know it alls on the board.  Burke’s hall of fame career didn’t get off to an Isiah Thomas like start in summer league…maybe it’s all upside from here.  Or maybe it’s a Mateen future in the call Sam Studio.

      Billups signing = A++++++++++++

      Billups should not be considered a piece of the puzzle and Joe D doesn’t think of him that way.  He’s here to right the ship when our guards can’t get off course.  There was a time when Tony Parker needed a veteran named Speedy Claxton to take the reigns in an NBA finals…but no one remembers that.  Not that we’re a championship squad with Tim Duncan and David Robinson at 4 and 5, but we do have needs for veterans and that’s what Joe D had done.

      Dumars brought back a guy who, because of his style of play, can be effective till he’s 40 if his joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold out.  There is no better player to add to a roster that needs help at point guard (and didn’t have a great option in the draft) than veteran with something left in the tank to bridge these young guys to the point where they can do it themselves.

      • Jul 13, 201312:26 pm
        by tarsier


        Dude, seriously, WTF!

        Who ever claimed that Burke will be an all-star, much less a HOF? Seriously, go back and find me a few comments with those claims. They just don’t exist. We claimed he was a better prospect than Pope.

        Stop putting out fucking strawmans. They’re really obnoxious and childish. If you can’t argue intelligently against what somebody actually said, shut up. Don’t make up arguments that they didn’t claim and try to debunk those. 

        • Jul 13, 20138:21 pm
          by Pimp Zombie


          Tarsier about to have a stroke over a thread when someone’s opinion doesn’t match his? This is new…

          • Jul 14, 20132:52 am
            by tarsier

            I don’t care one bit if someone else’s opinion doesn’t match mine. i’m talking about facts, namely the facts of what has been said.

            RyanK is making up bullshit claims and putting them in other people’s mouths. That pisses me off because it is pathetic and immature. Similar to your claiming that I can’t handle different opinions.

            Read my comment. When did I ever say anything about his opinion being wrong? I have other times, but never in a particularly harsh manner. But when someone ascribes idiotic claims to people who never made them, yeah, I may on occasion flip out on him.

  • Jul 12, 20136:00 pm
    by Pimp Zombie


    Am I the only one who remembers him stinking up the joint during the playoffs the last 3 years before he was traded? Not saying Joe D was justified, but damn…lets call it down the middle, plz

    • Jul 12, 20136:48 pm
      by Who Is Us


      I remember. i remember everyone being very critical of his inability to stay in front of quicker, smaller guards and not scoring the way everyone had come to expect. And at the time I largely agreed with Dumars’ reasoning for trading him, if not for the actual trade he made.
      That being said, I amd glad to see him back in Detroit especially as a leadership/mentor roll for Knight and as an additional shooter. Glad he will retire a Piston!!

  • Jul 12, 20136:32 pm
    by Joey


    They should hire rip as an assistant coach to teach kcp move without the ball

  • Jul 12, 20137:15 pm
    by brgulker


    How is he overpaid on a two year deal with a team option on the second year?

    • Jul 12, 20138:47 pm
      by ksgchild


      I was wondering the same thing…

    • Jul 13, 20133:30 am
      by Dan Feldman


      Because I think his salary is higher than he could have gotten anywhere else. I don’t think it’s a big deal, because it’s difficult to find a move his salary would hinder. But, generally, overpaying players is not good.

      • Jul 13, 20136:18 am
        by KaBa


        What you have to take into account is that the Pistons are not only paying him to play, they also are paying him to bring the fans back. The message is if Chauncey can forgive and return then everyone should do it. Other than that he is a true leader in the locker room and this young team needs lead badly (don’t see V or Stuckey as leaders hahahaha). So I think he is not overpayed at all. And after this year he could follow Sheed to the Bench.

      • Jul 13, 201312:48 pm
        by tarsier


        100% agreed

  • Jul 12, 20137:38 pm
    by gmehl


    I am expecting Chauncey to play a similar role that of the one that Dumars played with the development of Grant Hill. Dumars whilst in his twilight years became an on court coach of sorts to Hill. You could see Joe telling Hill where he was supposed or not supposed to be on certain plays. These are things that are difficult for a coach to relay during the hustle and bustle of a game. Hill has always credited Joe for fast tracking his understanding of his NBA transition and you’d have to guess if Stuckey had another season under Chauncey that he’d be twice the player that he is today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chauncey put up 10ppg and 4ast. If they manage him correctly there’s no reason he cannot be a useful rotation guy as he was never one to rely on athletisism but rather his power. As they say the last thing to go is your shot so at worst if he fills a spot shooter role (ala Ray Allen) then he’ll fill a huge role for the team.

  • Jul 12, 20137:53 pm
    by sop


    How would you grade the Pistons signing of Chauncey Billups? A++++++++++
    My all-time fav Piston returns hallelujah.

  • Jul 12, 201310:27 pm
    by Prerich


    I said the AI/Billups trade marked the begining of the end! Everyone around here was pro AI, I was vocal and said we were taking away the brains of the team….well now it seems like this is the start of a new begining!!!!! Love having Billups back, love having Sheed back, get Ben and Rip back (Ben for conditioning – Rip as a shooting coach)- this young team could make a little noise! 

    • Jul 13, 201312:03 am
      by Jeremy


      Why would you bring Ben in as a conditioning coach when Arnie Kander is perhaps the best strength and conditioning coach in the league? Don’t get me wrong, Ben’s a physical freak of nature but he was that way before he even got into the league (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/951810/BenWallace.jpg). That took years of pre-NBA training to get to that physical stature. The best thing Ben has to offer a team is his knowledge of the way the game is played on the defensive side of the ball for big men. 

      Rip will probably never see any sort of NBA work from the Pistons organization and that’s due entirely to his egotistical viewpoints. He was pissed when Joe traded Billups, pissed when he was demoted to 6th man in lieu of Iverson (best option was probably starting A.I. at point and Rip at the 2 but can’t fix something that happened 4 years ago) which led to a strained relationship with his coach (Curry at the time), he had a number of other issues with Curry prior to and after the demotion incident, he was benched by Kuester for lack luster performances and ignorant behavior, he was one of the organizers of the boycotted walk through when Kuester was here, and he mentally quit on this organization. He may be welcomed back for gatherings, but my money is on Isiah getting a gig with the Pistons before Rip ever does.  

      • Jul 13, 20131:30 am
        by mike


        Its good to have a former player though to workout with, plus I think Drummond could pick up a lot of defensive tricks from Ben.

        I’d Bring Rip back too as an extra shooter off the bench who could also teach KCP some veteran tricks on getting open off screens. They have similar games and Rip could make him better. Plus he would come so cheap I doubt we find a better veteran guard on the market to come here for the minimum. With Sheed and Chauncey here now, I wouldn’t worry at all about Rip being any problem either.

  • Jul 13, 20133:50 am
    by Ryan Kelly


    Wow.  How fast do people forget rip stunk on and off the court his last couple years on the pistons.   There’s a reason he couldnt get a spot on the bulls.   He lost his job almost instantly.    Rip is finished. 

  • Jul 13, 20138:52 am
    by Brigs


    hey wat the hell while we are at it lets bring tayshaun back from Memphis to teach diatome how to play defense and darvin ham to teach everyone how to dunk. Maybe Larry brown can teach cheeks how to coach If he’s not to busy

  • Jul 13, 20138:57 am
    by KaBa


    Hey am I the only one who is having trouble reaching the nba site of ESPN? I always get Page Not Found. TrueHoop also didn’t work earlier but now it seems OK.

  • Jul 13, 201310:29 am
    by DoctorDave


    1. Grade Billups’ Signing: B. If you take the nostalgia out of this signing, what we have here is the Pistons picking up an (at best) backup PG with a championship pedigree. Good for the team, yes; good for the locker room, yes; good as a mentor to BK7, yes; but producing wins on the floor – that needs to be seen. Remember: a “B” is still above average. This is a good addition; just not as good as I’d like to have seen.
    2. Billups’ on court role: realistically you’re looking at 10 minutes a night; 5 minutes a half. You want him on the floor when action is too fast. He’ll be the “slow it down” guy. The more minutes he plays early in the season, the worse it is for the team. He needs to be as fresh as possible for the playoff push. If he’s playing 10 minutes a night as the second PG, there is still minutes available for someone else: we’ll see what happens to the roster. More moves are coming.
    3. What it means for Knight: nothing but good. During practice, he not only mentors him, but pushes him. During games, Knight gets to watch a championship PG in action. All of the time Knight gets to see how the best teammate in the NBA acts and treats others. This signing gives BK7 his own assistant coach: from this perspective, this is the best reason to sign CB.

  • Jul 14, 20132:29 pm
    by Ken


    Burke would have been the better pick…he needs time to adjust to the team in Utah…you watch, he will be a solid point guard in this league. Jerry Sloan may not be on the sidelines, but I bet you he had something to do with that pick…and even if he didn’t, that many years in one organization leaves a legacy in people around him…they know point guards.

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