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Friday September 26, 2008 10:37 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 3, Pick 5 - Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce
It was anticipated that it would be a summer of change for the Detroit Pistons. Soon after the Boston Celtics eliminated the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, the President of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars, vowed to make some changes. He felt that his players were getting complacent and missing the sense of urgency they had during their championship run. Dumars claimed that he would trade any player on the roster and the only untouchable was Rodney Stuckey (?!).  A coaching change was the first course of action; Flip Saunders was fired and replaced by former Piston, Michael Curry. The summer has come and gone, the Detroit’s roster remains virtually the same heading into training camp (the lone addition was Kwame Brown (?!) as a free agent). Dumars has stated prior to the start of training camp that the nucleus of the team will stay together for now.

This year will be Chancey Billups’ seventh season with the Pistons; let’s see how the seven-year itch may affect his numbers this year. 

Round 3, Pick 5 – Chauncey Billups PG, Detroit Pistons

There is no denying that Chauncey Billups had his best years under Coach Saunders. In the ’05-’06 season i.e. Coach Saunders’ first year in Detroit, Billups averaged career highs in points, assists and three-pointers made (18.5 ppg, 8.6 apg and 2.3 3ptm). A resurgence for “Mr. Big Shot” this year is highly unlikely and here are some factors to consider. Chauncey is no spring chicken. He just turned 32 years old (September 25th was his birthday – Happy belated birthday!!) and for the past couple of seasons, he has battled hamstring problems. Believe me, your hamstrings do not heal faster when you get older. Speculation that Rodney Stuckey will get a bump in minutes this season is based on ideas which will allow Billups to have more rest. There were whispers that Billups was close to being dealt in the off-season and a trade could still happen later in the year. If a trade for Billups is consummated later in the year, his stats could be affected during the transition stage with the new team. I think that a Billups trade is unlikely because if a team was seriously interested, they would have acquired him before the season began so he can assimilate himself with his new teammates during training camp. It is important for a PG to know his teammates tendencies and the best time to learn that is during training camp. 

What does this all mean for Billups this year? I expect a slight decline in numbers; expect 74 GP, 16 ppg, 6 apg, 1 spg, 1.8 threes with 44 FG% which places him in the lower tier of first level point guards.

Billups joins a fantasy team consisting of Kevin Garnett and Danny Granger. The team is solid in the threes, steals, blocks and FG%. The team has some flexibility with its future picks; it does not need to reach for another big with its next pick but can choose another player to help in scoring.

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