The New York Knicks waived Chauncey Billups on Saturday by utilizing their amnesty clause so they could afford Tyson Chandler, the big man they acquired in a three-team deal.
The Knicks will still have to pay Billups the remainder of his $14.2 million contract, but it won’t affect the salary cap. The point guard will now be able to sign with any team he wants.
It is unclear what the Knicks will do at the point guard position after releasing the man who started 21 games for the Knicks after they acquired him in the same deal that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York from Denver.
Billups, a Colorado-native, reportedly returned back home after learning that he was going to be cut loose in order to free up salary cap space for Chandler. Billups’ NBA future is now up in the air, and it has been reported that he’s contemplating retirement, according to ESPN.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Chauncey retired rather than play for a team he wouldn’t want to play for,” his agent told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor. “He doesn’t need the money, his kids are getting to an age where he wants to be an active participant, and he doesn’t need the frustration and instability he’s constantly dealing with. So he may choose not to play.”
But Billups’ agent added that the 35-year-old veteran understands it’s a business and is not angry with the Knicks for letting him go.
During Chandler’s introductory news conference on Saturday, interim general manager Glen Grunwald said he spoke to Billups about the move before releasing him.
“We didn’t want to get rid of Chauncey and when I talked to him today I told him, ‘Chauncey, it’s not like we’re waiving you because we don’t want you. Look at it as what it is. We traded you basically for the starting center on the NBA championship team,’” Grunwald said, according to the Associated Press.