CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: The main cog that Denver got, he has 4 years and $50 million left on his contract. While people are worried about the salary, I think this trade makes sense for the Nuggets because Billups, will be so valuable for them. Although he is 32, he is in the midst of having the best years of his career, and is not slowing down statistically. His defense has only slipped a bit, since he relies more on size and strength against other guards. And because Rip Hamilton is so quick and can often guard the other team’s quickest player, Chauncey’s slight loss of footspeed is masked.
In every other way on the court, Billups is usually better than the point guards who guard him. He’s an excellent ballhandler and passer, and generally only takes open, high-percentage shots. In addition when he does shoot from three, he’s deadly. This has been especially true in the playoffs, when he earned the name Mr. Big Shot. He really was, hitting 3-pointers that iced the game in several close Pistons playoff games. Hopefully he can do the same with Denver, with Carmelo being the go-to player for the next few years.