NBA Free Agency 2011: Chauncey Billups Claimed by Los Angeles Clippers

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IDecember 13, 2011

Chauncey Billups.
Chauncey Billups.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After spending the 2010-11 NBA season with both the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks, veteran point guard Chauncey Billups wanted to remain a Knick for the upcoming season. However, Billups was unhappy after the Knicks decided to release him using the amnesty clause late last week. It got to the point where Billups and his agent reportedly warned teams (non-contenders that were not paying the luxury tax) that he may not report and could opt for retirement if picked up by a team before officially clearing waivers come Monday evening.

It was an interesting statement coming from Billups, as he was not expecting to be released by the Knicks. However, New York was looking to add free agent center Tyson Chandler and needed to clear some cap space in the process of doing so. Additionally, the Knicks were looking to replace Billups with shorter contracted players.

However, if Billups did clear waivers, he would have become an unrestricted free agent and would have been able to choose his next destination. The Los Angeles Clippers claimed Billups close to six o’clock Monday evening and prevented the veteran guard from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Now, what does this move mean for the Clippers? They could be looking to make some moves and feel that Billups will be able to help out their young backcourt. Additionally, if the Clippers can acquire Chris Paul, then there might be an incentive for Billups to stay on. Billups could fill the need of a veteran who can influence youngsters Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. If things do not work out, the Clippers could look to trade Billups.