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Sunday, June 22, 2008

CHAUNCEY'S CALL? is reporting that the Pistons offered Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince for Carmelo Anthony and got rejected. it's uncertain if that was the package discussed but the Pistons are apparently very interested in Anthony. President of basketball operations Joe Dumars said he would target opponents' top player and Anthony might be the one who's most available.
This smells of something a little different. Is Chauncey pushing to go back home?
You read the tea leaves. The day after the Pistons were eliminated, Billups said he would try to rest up his sore hamstring and get ready for the Olympics. A few days before that 12-man roster is unveiled, he pulls out.
Was he told by the powers that be he wasn't going to be chosen? Billups cited undisclosed family reasons but it's fair to wonder if he knew he wasn't making the team and was given a face-saving alternative. If he's really dealing with a major family issue, perhaps it's something that makes him want to stay in Denver on a more regular basis.
I doubt his name would be thrown around in trade discussions with any other club. Billups still does major charity work in Denver and maybe he simply wants to go home.
Remember, when the Pistons re-signed him last summer, the intent was to have him retire as a Piston. Just a year later, his name is mentioned prominently in trade discussions. I doubt the Pistons have soured on his leadership skills that much.
Certainly, the emergence of Rodney Stuckey makes him more expendable but I still like the combo of Billups-Stuckey better than Stuckey-Rip Hamilton.
As stated in previous blogs, I'm not sold on Anthony being the answer. No doubt, he can score in bunches. But I still question his toughness, defense and character. He's going to court Tuesday for his DUI case, an incident that occured just before the playoffs. Is he the type of guy who can lead your team?
Perhaps Dumars is counting on his new no-nonsense coach, Michael Curry, to nudge Anthony toward a more mature outlook.
First, the Nuggets have to be willing to deal him. And that's not certain by any means. They'd rather change their roster around Anthony, rather than subtracting him from the mix.


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