"Billups, more so than point guard Chris Paul, has that crucial championship experience that the Clippers will need as they head into what could be an unprecedented postseason run. The Clippers will be able to replace Chauncey’s production, to an extent, throughout the regular season but having an NBA Finals MVP on the floor in the closing moments of vital playoff games?
That’s tough to overcome."
Combo guard Mo Williams and Randy Foye should be able to replace the 15 points and four assists Billups was contributing per night. And while Billups' veteran leadership will be missed on the court, Chris Paul is an old hand at leading teams through tough situations.
Billups' injury doe little to change the Clippers priorities. With the acquisition of Kenyon Martin to shore up the frontcourt, the Clippers most glaring need was athletic size on the wings where veterans Caron Butler and Ryan Gomes are the onlyl swingmen with ideal size, if not athleticism.
J.R. Smith should return from China soon, and remains an intriguing option as firepower off the bench, though he may command more than the minimum contract the Clippers can offer.
The Clippers are also armed with a $3.93MM and $2.85MM trade exception remaining from the Chris Paul trade, though their lack of a first round pick in this draft might leave options limited. With the team built around Paul and Blake Griffin, however, this depth is more luxury than necessity this first season.