Could Chauncey Billups be the next veteran to join the Cleveland Cavaliers? Multiple sources tell WFNY that Billups, a five-time NBA All-Star, spent Tuesday in Cleveland with Cavs head assistant coach Tyronn Lue, ultimately finishing up his trip with a Warehouse District dinner meeting alongside Lue, Cavs general manager David Griffin, head coach David Blatt.
For discussion’s sake, let’s take this trip at face value and assume Chauncey Billups met with the Cavaliers.
Remember when a report emerged Tom Gores met with Isiah Thomas abut becoming the Pistons’ general manager? It seemed the reporter got wind of a Gores-Thomas meeting and assumed he knew what it was about. Later, the Pistons clarified Gores and Thomas were discussing the Bad Boys reunion (and maybe Thomas’ potential ownership stake). In the same vein, I wouldn’t assume, just because of a dinner meeting, Cleveland wants to add Billups to the roster.
When the Pistons declined Billups’ team option, his career looked finished. He’s 37 and has missed 169 games the last three years – and he didn’t play that well when he got on the court.
However, I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Billups joins the Cavaliers as a player. Maybe they convince themselves – with LeBron James, Kevin Love(?) and Kyrie Irving as focal points – they can limit Billups to a small role in which he can be effective. They’d really just need to save him for the playoffs anyway.
But I’d be even less surprised if they want him for their front office. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has Michigan ties, and whether it’s trying to hire Tom Izzo or other smaller moves, I can see him wanting Billups. Assistant general manager under Griffin or something like that.
I believe at one point the plan was for Billups to join Joe Dumars’ front office after retiring. Obviously, Stan Van Gundy’s arrival complicated that path, if it didn’t dismiss it entirely.
I’m definitely rooting for Billups to land on his feet in whatever capacity he desires. If that’s in Cleveland, fine by me. I care more about Billups flourishing than whether an intra-division rival gets a leg up.