It'll be a referendum series of sorts for Billups, too, since Pistons president Joe Dumars has already gone out and said he'll do just about whatever it takes financially to keep Billups in Detroit when he becomes a free agent. That's an awful big commitment to already be making to a player who will be 31 in September, playing a position where, historically, players have shown significant declines once they enter their mid-30s.
Just asking, but if the Pistons go down in four or five games and Billups doesn't play well, is Dumars still committed to the idea of spending $50-60 million to keep Chauncey at the point through 2011-12?
I'm not quite sure I agree with Sheridan's logic here. Yes, Chauncey is going to be 31 in September. Yes, past point guards have slowed in their mid-30s. But Chauncey will only be turning 35 at the start of the 2011-2012 season.
So, to rephrase the question: Is Joe Dumars prepared to pay $50-60 million for Chauncey -- one of the top point guards in the league -- given the possibility that he may start to decline in the last year of the five-year deal that Sheridan proposes?
I certainly hope so, if Joe still feels that this is a championship caliber club.
I don't mean to belittle the idea that this series could sway Joe D from offering Chauncey a max deal. I just don't think Chauncey's productivity in year 5 is going to be the determining factor. If the Pistons falter against the Bulls with the current iteration of their core group, the prevailing opinion would be that their championship window has finally closed and a rebuilding/significant retooling might be needed. In that case, maybe you take cap flexibility and a first round point guard over the status quo, regardless of his expected production over the next five years.