NBA Free Agents 2012: Why the Chicago Bulls Should Target Chauncey Billups

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NBA Free Agents 2012: Why the Chicago Bulls Should Target Chauncey Billups
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls desperately need a point guard, and Chauncey Billups is the perfect stopgap solution for next season.

Chicago lost Derrick Rose for eight to 12 months in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs, which means that the team will need a new starting point guard for most of the 2012-2013 regular season. 

Billups is a former All-Star who has excelled for several NBA teams.  After leading the Detroit Pistons to the 2004 NBA championship and the 2005 NBA finals, Billups later led the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference finals and the New York Knicks to the playoffs.

In short, he is a consummate professional who has elevated the performance of every team he has been a part of in his NBA career.

Billups is also a good stylistic fit for the Bulls' offensive needs.  He is one of the best shooting point guards in the NBA, which would desperately help a Chicago backcourt that sorely needs a starting marksman.  He is also a gifted passer who has played with top forwards and centers (Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Ben Wallace) and knows how to pass the ball inside and create pick-and-roll offense.

Most important, he is the best "bang for the buck" candidate on the free-agent market.  Billups has contemplated retirement in the past and has made tens of millions of dollars in his career, so at this point, winning likely means more than money.  And filling in for Rose while making Chicago a title contender would fit the bill.

The only potential knock on Billups is that he suffered an Achilles heel injury in February.  However, he had surgery and has the entire offseason to heal.  Billups' game is not driven by seeking a contact, and he has no history of injury problems, so that should not keep him from being a good bet for Chicago.

The Bulls know Rose is gone, but this team is built to win.  It's time to give Billups a call.  

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