Rumors about Billups eventually landing in Miami gained momentum throughout the season while fans wished for an alternative to the Arroyo-Chalmers rotation at the point.
While still a Nugget, Billups agent Andy Miller then told ESPN: "If Chauncey is traded, he'd want to be bought out so he could survey the landscape and re-evaluate what he wants to do going forward". Soon after, sources close to Billups stated his preferred destination would be Miami, where he’d play for the veteran’s minimum to chase another NBA championship with the Heat.
Unfortunately for Miami, the Knicks decided not to negotiate a buyout and keep Billups to star alongside Stoudemire-Melo and build their own Big Three. After a subpar end to the season and an early playoff exit, it was believed the Knicks would pay Billups the $3.7M buyout, making him a free agent and a possible Heat target next seaon.
That is no longer a possibility.
The New York Knicks picked up the $14.2 million option on point guard Chauncey Billups Wednesday, ensuring that he will be with the team for the 2011-12 season.
For perspective, current players making similar dough: Chris Paul $14.9M, Lebron James / Chris Bosh $14.5M, Dwyane Wade $14.0M, Paul Pierce $13.9M, Andrew Bynum $13.8M, Rudy Gay 13.6M.
The uncertainty of terms in the new CBA, salary cap space, and any clauses aiding teams to keep their players have given the Knicks reason to tread the waters with care. Keeping his costly contract can only be attributed to a business tactic - the belief that Billups can be best used as an attractive expiring contract to be used in trade for complementary pieces to the Melo-Stoudamire tandem, or as a keeper to expire next season when the likes of Chris Paul and Deron Williams will roam free. It doesn't make the Knicks stronger contenders next season, but it leaves a blueprint with options as they move forward with the building of a powerhouse.
For now, Billups is once again a longshot for the Heat until 2012, unless he is bought out by the Knicks or his possible trade destination next season.
In Bibby We (have to) Trust.