LA Clippers: Would Chauncey Billups Make a Better Assistant Coach at This Point?

Lindsey YoungCorrespondent IIJuly 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Injured guard Chauncey Billups #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers helps out with some coaching from the bench during the game with the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 5, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 87-86 to take a two games to one lead in the series.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

According to a recent report, Chauncey Billups intends to sign a one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. The deal could be worth up to $4.3 million if he reaches bonuses.

An explosive player that could read the floor, create plays, dish out assists and rack up points, Billups was one of the better guards to play the game. After 15 years in the NBA—combined with last season's Achilles injury—however, was is the key word here. The Clippers shouldn't have re-signed Billups.

Don't get me wrong—even though I don't call myself an L.A. fan, I've been a Billups fan since Day 1. I was beyond frustrated when the Timberwolves let him go in 2002 after having a breakout season, and he's been an impact player in the league ever since.

At this point, though, he's too big of a question mark to be spending $4 million on. When the Billups tore his Achilles tendon last winter, fans mourned the loss and wondered if the Clips could have been more successful in the postseason with their veteran guard on the floor. Whether he returns or not, I don't think he'll be the same player he was; he's just too far into his career to rebound from such a debilitating injury.

Even when he signs the one-year deal, Billups may not be ready for action until December. The main motivation to sign him now is due to his tremendous experience and leadership, and those qualities can be utilized from a position other than the roster. 

Billups would make an excellent addition to the Clippers' coaching staff, and it would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. L.A. would find itself with more roster money to play with, younger players would benefit from Billups' expertise and familiarity with the system and an aging veteran could stay in the game without enduring physical wear.

Who knows? Come midseason, I may find myself proved entirely wrong. At this point, however, I find Billups return a desperate attempt to save "what was."