UPDATE: CBS Sports' Ken Berger reported that the Los Angeles Clippers' claim of Chauncey Billups may push the Chris Paul trade "over the finish line." Because of the Clippers' acquisition of Billups, L.A. General Manager Neil Olshey can now include point guard Eric Bledsoe in the trade.
Berger also said that several rival general managers questioned whether it was a coincidence that the Clippers management team made the winning bid on Billups -- for approximately $2 million -- while negotiating a blockbuster trade with the NBA league office, which knew the competing bids. Berger said that GMs circulated a conspiracy theory that the league wanted "to ensure that Paul was moved to L.A."
The NBA sent a letter to Billups' agent, warning his client of consequences if the veteran point guard caused disturbances with a team that claimed him. The former champion is now faced with the possibility of sitting at the end of the bench in Los Angeles while Chris Paul throws alley-oops to Blake Griffin instead of starting on the Miami Heat. [END OF UPDATE]
It seemed too good to be true.
After receiving the amnesty boot to make room for Tyson Chandler, Chauncey Billups voiced his irritation. He threatened retirement if an under-the-cap team he didn’t want to play for claimed him on waivers. Billups even said that that he would "absolutely love" getting a chance to face the New York Knicks in the playoffs, which makes any Heat fan salivate. It was widely believed that the veteran point guard wanted to play for the Heat. Chris Bosh even said that the 2004 NBA Finals MVP would fit in Miami.
After the New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats opted against bidding on Billups, it seemed like the Denver native would make his way down to South Beach. In the end, it actually was too good to be true, as the Los Angeles Clippers bid on the former Detroit Piston. The Clippers called Billups’ bluff, and he probably won’t retire because he won’t get any of the $14 million the Knicks will pay him if he hangs up the jersey.
Earlier today, David Stern reportedly killed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Clippers. If the trade had gone through, it would seem unlikely that the Clippers would have bid on a veteran who plays the same position as Paul. Stern’s unprecedented shows of authority seemingly affected the Heat.
It is reported that other teams may have put in bids for the former NBA Finals MVP.
The Heat still have 14 players on the roster, one below the NBA limit.