Chris Paul Made the Re-Signing of Chauncey Billups His ‘Top Priority’

When it comes to the contract situation regarding unrestricted free agent Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul is acting as an unofficial member of the LA Clippers’ front-office. Paul is determined to play alongside Billups again. Per the Denver Post: “He knows my top priority right now is to make sure he’s back with us again next season,’ Paul said. ‘That was the best backcourt mate I played with since I’ve been in the NBA. He just gave me so much confidence and made things so much easier for me. So I need him back and want him back.’ Billups’s season ended after 20 games because of a torn Achilles tendon. He said he’s ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and should be 100 percent healthy by the start of training camp. The former Colorado star averaged 14.9 points and 4.0 assists in 20 games — all starts — before his season ended Feb. 7. He was playing on a one-year contract with the Clippers after being waived by the New York Knicks. ‘I liked it a lot (in Los Angeles), but of course I would be crazy not to entertain any other offers that I might have,’ Billups said. ‘That’s the fun of being a free agent.’ Billups has been Paul’s mentor and friend ever since the point guard arrived in the NBA in 2005 from Wake Forest. Paul called playing with Billups last season ‘the best thing ever.’ ‘I tell people all the time had Chauncey not got injured, we were going to win the championship,’ Paul said. Any progress on his recruitment of Billups? ‘I think it’s going well,’ Paul said. ‘The top priority now is to get him healthy. I think that was the toughest thing for me. When he got injured, I was messed up because I know how hard he works and how much he loves to play. It feels a lot better now because I know how hard he’s been working and I know he’s going to be back.'”