NBA free agency: Knicks interested in Chauncey Billups, per report

Chris Trotman

The Knicks made the mistake of amnestying Chauncey Billups in 2011. Partially because of that, they don't currently have the money necessary to sign him.

The New York Knicks want Chauncey Billups, but due to their salary situation -- ironically, one partically caused by Billups -- they're unlikely to get him. Reason being is that Billups is not interested in playing for a minimum contract, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

Billups briefly played for the Knicks following the Carmelo Anthony trade in the middle of the 2011 season. New York opted to exercise a team option for $14.2 million instead of buying him out for $3.7 million. After the NBA's lockout ended, though, the team decided to use the one-time amnesty clause on Billups to create the cap room necessary to trade for Tyson Chandler.

The Knicks currently have several huge contracts on their ledger, most notably the over $40 million in commitments owed to Amar'e Stoudemire. He'd be a prime amnesty candidate due to his inability to stay effective and healthy, but the Knicks have already used their amnesty clause on Billups.

When Jason Kidd went to the Brooklyn Nets as their new head coach, the Knicks lost one of their three point guards on a squad that was most successful playing two at a time. Adding Billups, a 36-year-old whose veteran leadership capabilities rival Kidd's, would help greatly in that department. To convince him to play, though, they'll need more than a minimum salary ... and since the Knicks are over the salary cap, they can't afford that.

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