Detroit Pistons re-sign veteran guard Billups
Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars confirmed Thursday that the team has re-signed Billups to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season, with only the first year guaranteed.
Billups, 37, is a 16-year NBA veteran that spent 2002-08 with the Pistons, leading them to six straight Eastern Conference Finals, two NBA Finals and a championship in 2004, the same year he was named NBA Finals MVP.
Last season, Billups' second with the Los Angeles Clippers, he was limited by injuries to just 22 games but still averaged 8.4 points and 2.2 assists per game off the bench. He holds career averages of 15.4 points and 5.5 assists per game.
Billups was drafted No. 3 overall by Boston in 1995 and played for the Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves and his hometown Denver Nuggets before signing a six-year deal with Detroit in the summer of 2002.
Billups was traded back to the Nuggets in November 2008, much to his and Dumars' dismay. The Pistons' president said it was "one of the hardest moves" he ever had to make, and Billups said in 2011 after a game in Detroit, "I never wanted to leave here…I wanted to retire here."
Following two-and-a-half seasons in Denver, Billups was traded to New York in February 2011 in the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. The guard then signed with the Clippers in December after the Knicks waived him under the NBA's amnesty clause.
In addition to bringing back their Finals MVP, the Pistons also recently added another member of their 2004 team: Rasheed Wallace. The newly retired Wallace joined the coaching staff as an assistant.
Detroit will look to Billups and Wallace, former NBA champions, to help develop a young team.