Billups Signs 5-Year Deal With Pistons

Wednesday, July 11th 2007, 12:00 pm
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Chauncey Billups signed a $60 million, five-year contract Wednesday with the Detroit Pistons, returning to the team he helped reach five straight conference finals.

The contract is worth $46 million guaranteed over four years and includes a team option for the fifth year.

Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said he was ``very pleased'' to have Billups back.

``We said from the beginning that re-signing Chauncey was our top priority, and now we can move forward knowing that Chauncey will continue to lead this team,'' Dumars told The Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon. ``One of the toughest positions to fill in this business is the point guard position, and that's why it was imperative that we re-sign Chauncey.''

Billups and the Pistons appeared to reach a win-win deal, because even though the All-Star was one of the NBA's top free agents this summer, other teams didn't seem to be willing or able to compete with Detroit's offer.

Rasheed Wallace in 2004 re-signed with the Pistons in a similar situation, for $57 million over five years after he and Billups helped the franchise win its third title.

Billups has guided Detroit on the court during what has been one of the league's most consistent stretches in two-plus decades.

He was the NBA finals MVP three years ago, when Detroit beat the Los Angeles Lakers with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, and nearly led Detroit to a title the next year.

Since 1984, only the Lakers have been more reliable in the playoffs with a run that ended with a sixth straight conference finals appearance in 1989.