Chauncey Will Return

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It looks like Chauncey Billups’ option will be exercised for next season, and the longtime underrated veteran will return for another season with the Knicks. This from the AP:

“Chauncey, Amare and Carmelo are a great nucleus, as we continue to look to improve our team going into the offseason,” team president Donnie Walsh said in a statement. “Chauncey is an extremely talented and experienced point guard – we are very happy to have him back.”

The Knicks acquired Billups along with Anthony from Denver in February. He averaged 17.5 points with the Knicks but battled a pair of injuries, missing six games with a bruised left quadriceps in March, then straining a tendon in his left knee during Game 1 of the playoffs and missing the final three games of New York’s loss to Boston. Walsh said those injuries weren’t long-term concerns.

Billups will be 35 in September and said this week he hoped to return to New York for his 15th NBA season. After playing most of his career at 215 pounds, Billups said Monday he planned to come in at 210 next season to better handle the pace of Mike D’Antoni’s system. He insists he has plenty of basketball left.

I like the move, a lot. It brings the Knicks two qualities they haven’t had these past few years: Consistency and experience. I especially like Billups’ willingness to trim his body down so he can accommodate D’Antoni’s (if he returns) faster paced offensive philosophy. The fewer question marks the Knicks have heading into next season the better.

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