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Chauncey Billups Will Return To Knicks Next Season

The New York Knicks will pay Chauncey Billups his full $14.2 million salary for the 2011-12 season rather than buying him out as some had speculated when the Knicks acquired him at the NBA trade deadline.

ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, who first reported the deal, noted that the Knicks had until Fridfay to decide to either pay Billups his full salary next season or buy out the final year of his deal for $3.7 million.

The most interesting part of this deal may be that Knicks president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh, who is currently waiting to find out if he’ll be re-signed next season, is apparently the person that signed off on re-signing Billups for next season.

“Chauncey, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Billups are a great nucleus, as we continue to look to improve our team going into the offseason,” Walsh said in a statement according to Sheridan. “Chauncey is an extremely talented and experienced point guard — we are very happy to have him back.”

It remains to be seen how well the 35-year-old Billups will hold up going into his 13th season this Fall, but no one can dispute the fact that the Knicks NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics would have been at least a little bit different if Billups was able to play in the final three games of the season.