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Chauncey Billups: Pistons 'Would've Won 3 Championships' with Carmelo Anthony

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2020

FILE - In this March 19, 2014 photo, Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups watches from the sideline during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Denver. A person familiar with the situation says Billups has not made a decision about joining Cleveland’s front office. Billups is weighing several factors and remains unsure if he wants to head up the Cavs’ basketball operations, said the person who spoke Monday, June 26, 2017 to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Chauncey Billups agrees with Carmelo Anthony that the Detroit Pistons could have had a dynasty if they made a better choice in the 2003 NBA draft. 

"If [Detroit] got Melo, we would've won three championships," Billups said Tuesday on Bart & Hahn.

It comes after Anthony projected he would have "two or three rings" if he went to Detroit during an Instagram Live with Dwyane Wade:

ClutchPoints @ClutchPointsApp

"I woulda had, uh, two, maybe two or three rings." Melo on if he was drafted by Detroit 😅 https://t.co/yky1oXHoAX

Melo was selected by the Denver Nuggets as the third overall pick in the loaded 2003 draft, which also featured LeBron James (No. 1 overall), Chris Bosh (No. 4) and Wade (No. 5) among others. The Pistons took Darko Milicic with the second pick.

Detroit won the NBA title the next year behind Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace, while the same group again went to the finals in 2005, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.

However, Milicic had a minimal impact on the team, averaging 1.6 points per game across parts of three seasons in Detroit before being traded. He lasted 10 years in the NBA but averaged just 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in his career.

Anthony likely could have provided a lot more help while averaging 21.0 points per game as a rookie and topping 20 points per game in each of his first 14 seasons in the NBA while earning 10 All-Star selections.

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Though he might've seen fewer shots early in his career around more veteran players with Detroit, he likely would have helped an organization that had enough talent to reach the Eastern Conference finals in six straight seasons from 2003-08.

Instead, Anthony spent his career with struggling franchises and only twice advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.

The best postseason showing for the veteran came in 2009 with the Denver Nuggets, when he finally teamed with Billups to reach the Western Conference Finals.

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