The New York Knicks have answered one question pertaining to the future of the organization. According to a report by Chris Sheridan, the Kinckerbockers will pick up the option on Chauncey Billups’ contract for the 2011-12 season. New York will pay Billups $14.2 million dollars over the final year of his contract.
The Knicks had until Friday to decide whether the team wanted to spend the money on the 13-year veteran point guard or buyout his contract. The buyout would have only cost the team $3.7 million.
Billups only played in one of New York’s playoff games and just 21 regular season games with the team. Apparently, that was all the Knicks need to see. He averaged 17.5 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.9 rebounds as a Knick in those 21 games. However, those numbers do not tell the whole story.
After joining the Knicks, Billups’ shot selection became abysmal. With New York, he was taking almost two more shots per game than he was with Denver. This did not translate into increased production, though. His shooting percentage dropped from 43.8 percent with the Nuggets to 40.3 percent with the Knicks.
Worst of all was his tendency to take low percentage three-point shots while with the Knicks. With Denver, Billups averaged 4.7 three point attempts during a game and connected on 2.1 of them for an average of 44.1 percent. As a member of the Knicks, he upped his shot attempts from behind the arc to six per game while only making two. His averaged tumbled to 32.8 percent. That is almost a 12 point drop. Mr. Big Shot needs to find a new nickname.
Nonetheless, Billups, who will turn 35 in September, will remain in New York for one more season. One question answered, many to go.
Now the Knicks can focus on whether to pick up the option on General Manager Donnie Walsh’s contract. Rumors have been floating around that the two sides are close to a two-year extension.