Everybody and anybody keeping track of the free agency pool this year has got to be already heads up with Chauncey Billups resigning with the Detroit Pistons. Now, it seems that Chauncey Billups will indeed be the face of the Pistons franchise of 2000; will he be one of the most beloved players the franchise has ever had, enough to have his jersey recognized and lifted up into the rafters a decade from now? Only time can spell that answer.
However, it is definitely mind-bending to try and understand the hidden agendas that the general managers and the players themselves try to impose on, no matter how unhidden they are. The resigning of Chauncey Billups follows two brilliant theories, which are also two theories that very well contradict each other. One theory is the 'Make More Money Theory', which was brought to light by none other than Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas) himself; while the other theory, 'Joe Dumars is a Mad Genius', is generated by both Chris McCosky of The Detroit News and Tom Ziller of The Fanhouse. Both of which seem very brilliant, realistic, and feasible; which is the problem because if that is so: then Chauncey Billups will become a very unhappy fellow.
Dwelling on Gilbert Arenas' contractual lingering, here are some of the highlights of his rant:
What is hard for anybody else to understand besides people in the NBA industry to understand that, on my contract, it’s basically the same thing that Ben Wallace did but without the trade and the same thing that Chauncey is doing.In simpler terms: Gilbert Arenas wants to opt out of the last year of his contract to make more money. If he gets a contract extension, he will only receive a 12.5% increase on his salary; on the flip note, if he opts out of his contract and then gets resigned instead, he could start with a much higher increase on his salary. Brilliant? Could be. Arenas claims that Chauncey Billups is doing the same thing this year, as Chauncey suggested "testing the market" regarding his contract option, but that's not where the story ends.
Now, if you don’t make the max money but you become a max player during the time frame of your original contract, you have to opt out to get the max money.
This has nothing to do with me leaving or trying to look for other teams. I have to do it:
1. To get more years and
2. To increase my pay.
It’s the same thing Chauncey was doing. Chauncey was getting paid four to five million dollars in his contract, and if he extends he’s only going to make 12.5 percent on that amount, which will put him at six million or so. But, if he opts out of that contract, he could possibly start at 10.
Coming over to the side of Joe Dumars' tactics, here's what the Fanhouse, with the help of McCosky, had to say about the situation of Billups:
Just two weeks ago, people were using Amir's name and the full midlevel in the same sentence. But no one has made Johnson an offer (as far as the known world knows, at least). Why? McCosky explains:Amir Johnson is close to being locked up by the Detroit Pistons. Despite his tremendous play in the summer leagues and undying potential for the future, no team has yet to offer Johnson a contract save for Joe Dumars. McCoscy explains that it's because Dumars has scared away all suitors by putting his foot down on the signing issue. Tom Ziller of The Fanhouse claims that this is the same strategy that Dumars used on resigning Chauncey Billups. Joe Dumars is going to match any offer that opposing teams make on Chauncey, so why bother right? Thus, the Pistons resign Chauncey at a much cheaper cost as opposed to trying to match offers with other suitors.Joe Dumars has made it clear across the league that he was matching any offer for Johnson, so teams have pretty much stayed away.Sound familiar? This is exactly what happened with Chauncey Billups, and Dumars locked him up with the most reasonable contract imaginable. So Dumars -- by using the media to insist he won't let his free agents get away at any cost -- gets his free agents at reduced costs.
Here's where the story twists: If what Gilbert Arenas said is true and Chauncey DOES want more money by opting out, and if the strategy of Joe Dumars in reacquiring free agents is also true; then where does that leave Chauncey Billups? Chauncey Billups wants more money, but Joe Dumars blueprinted a way to lock up multi-million star Chauncey Billups for a price much lower than what Billups could have gotten from other teams given his intangibles and skills as a player. Do we have an unhappy Chauncey Billups?
Love and passion for the game and the team should always come first over money and contracts in moral terms, and maybe that's the real reason why Billups resigned with the Pistons; but why did he have to test the market other than the reason for acquiring a large contract? A possible reason would be the search for a championship contender better than the wailing Detroit Pistons; but with Dumars' antics, didn't that also stifle possible offers from championship contenders such as the Dallas Mavericks? Do we have an unhappier Chauncey Billups?
A major conflict of interests? Indeed, a big one. Once Billups inks the deal, it all becomes official. Only then will the world be certain regarding the outcome of the decision of Chauncey Billups as his years begin to unfold.