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Draft: 1997, 3rd overall
Career: 15.5 PPG, 5.6 APG, 2.9 RPG (five-time All-Star)
How can you not like Chauncey? More importantly, how does the third overall pick get moved Toronto in the middle of a rookie season while averaging 11-4-2?
The answer is simple. For a “my best days are behind me” version of Kenny Anderson, of course!
Anderson did a fine job of making a mediocre contribution to the Celtics, while hovering around 30 minutes.
Hence, the declaration I made earlier. We would be talking about the picks, not what was down with them thereafter.
Billups had the talent, the upside and a team-first style that would eventually lead to an NBA Finals MVP for the 2004 champion Pistons.
Imagine a mini-big three of sorts with Billups, Pierce and Walker. Ugh. It wasn't meant to be; just doesn't seem to satisfy.
Billups' best season (18-8-3) would come in the 2005-06 season, but his value should always be remembered well beyond the numbers.
Along with two finals appearances, Billups would run point for four visits to the Eastern Conference Finals (six total), most famously taking out the Lakers as a part of one of the best defensive teams in recent times.
The 2004 Pistons are the perfect example for why a team, in the truest sense of the word, will beat a team full of All-Stars.
For all his accomplishments, Pistons GM Joe Dumars would trade Billups to Denver for Allen Iverson's contract, ending an era in Detroit prematurely. OK, maybe the Anderson trade isn't that bad.