While the New Jersey Nets have engaged the Detroit Pistons and Nuggets in trade conversations by proposing a deal that would send Anthony, Billups and Pistons guard Richard Hamilton(notes) to New Jersey, Billups’ agent made it clear Saturday that his client wants no part of such a move. So much so that he said Billups would seek a contract buyout if the Nets acquired him.
Billups has long said he hopes to retire with the Nuggets and eventually join their front office.
“His position is steadfast,” said Andy Miller, Billups’ agent. “I talked to him after practice [Saturday] and he expressed those thoughts. He doesn’t want to go anywhere. Even if it were a rebuilding situation, he’d prefer to be in Denver.”
Miller said “two or three” other teams also have expressed interest in Billups, but the former NBA Finals MVP wants to stay in his hometown. Billups was a high school star in Denver before playing at the University of Colorado. Billups’ wife, Piper, is his former high school sweetheart, his three daughters are attending school in Denver and his parents, brother and most childhood friends still live in the city. Billups is also active in the community, funding college scholarships for local students and running a basketball academy.
Billups won the 2004 NBA championship with the Pistons and won a gold medal at the world championships last summer with Team USA. Traded from the Pistons to the Nuggets in November 2008, he’d now prefer to finish his NBA career in a stable family environment in Denver – even if the Nuggets have to rebuild their roster without Anthony.
“This is where all my family is,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports in late November. “Mom, Pops, grandparents, everybody. This is genuinely home for me. I am in the downside, as far as my career is concerned. I know when my career is over I want to live in Denver. Why not have my kids in schools that they are going to be in and graduate from? That has a lot to do with me really wanting to be at home.
“But I’ve seen stranger things. I thought my career would end in Detroit.”
Billups is a valuable trade asset for the Nuggets because he’s a quality veteran point guard and his contract is attractive. Only $3.7 million of the $14.2 million he’s due to make in the final year of his contract next season is guaranteed. A team that acquires him at the trade deadline could buy him out for $3.7 million after the season and make him a free agent.
Miller said Billups isn’t interested in retiring yet, but he doesn’t expect his client to be happy playing for another team this season.
“Once Chauncey is gone from Denver, you’re disconnecting from fans, sponsors and the community,” Miller said.