While acquiring Carmelo Anthony was huge for the Knicks, having Chauncey Billups thrown into the trade along with him was an absolute steal.
Coming to a city starving for success, Billups will be given the responsibility of taking an inconsistent team and transforming them into a synergistic, well-oiled machine primed for playoff competition.
Although a daunting task, Billups’ experience, toughness and remarkable basketball I.Q. will be exactly what is needed to take a bunch of talented individuals and harmonize their skills into a collaborative unit.
The acquisition is sure to have a positive effect on the entire Knicks team, but the biggest beneficiary is undoubtedly Toney Douglas. The tutelage of quintessential point guard Billups coupled with Douglas’ own relentless work ethic should result in an easier transition from combo guard to floor general than most expect.
As Billups' career has shown, the value of having an experienced mentor to guide a young player can make all the difference in how successful he turns out to be.
After Larry Brown instilled confidence in him in Detroit, Billups learned to cultivate his strengths and solidified himself as the starting point guard of the 2004-2005 championship Detroit Pistons.
Adding to his résumé in 2010, Billups won a gold medal with Team USA, where he was praised for educating Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook which resulted in better play from both of them.
With a new collective bargaining agreement looming and the Knicks' money already tied up in the lucrative contracts of superstars Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, New York may not have enough cap space in 2012 for a superstar point guard of Chris Paul’s caliber.
In a related story, Chauncey Billups likely has two or three years of solid play left before relinquishing his role as a starting PG.
As long as it may last, the time spent with Billups will be crucial for the Knicks' future success, as Douglas will learn the intricacies of running an offense, improving his defense and becoming the leader of a contending championship team.
Billups will revamp a porous defense that is all too familiar with squandering large leads in the closing minutes of games, while also providing the experienced leader New York has lacked for the past decade.
While the media remains focused on the offensive potency of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the acquisition of Chauncey Billups will be the key to the Knicks' success
He provides the glue that holds the team together when it really counts.