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NBA Notebook: Pistons bring back Billups

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Associated Press
Published:
DETROIT -- Chauncey Billups wanted to stay with the Detroit Pistons for the rest of his career.
Now, the team that traded him away wants him back.
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars confirmed Thursday morning that Billups and the team have agreed to terms on a contract.
Billups is getting a two-year deal, the first season is guaranteed, for $2.5 million each year.
"I never wanted to leave here. Everyone knows that," he said on Jan. 26, 2011, after making a flurry of 3-pointers late in a game to help Denver win in Detroit. "I wanted to retire here."
He's back to help the Pistons as a pass-first point guard, who can make 3-point shots. And, he will be expected to mentor 21-year-old Brandon Knight and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, in the backcourt and off the court.
Detroit dealt Billups to Denver on Nov. 3, 2008, when the franchise decided its championship-winning window had closed. The Pistons are 148-244 since making the unpopular and unsuccessful move. The Pistons traded Billups in part to speed the development of Rodney Stuckey, to see if Allen Iverson could provide a spark while his contract expired and to clear salary-cap space for the future.
Stuckey, who is still with the team, never became a dependable point guard. The millions spent in the summer of 2009 on free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva turned out to be wasted. The Pistons traded Gordon last summer, basically to get his contract off the books, to Charlotte for a first-round pick.
Peace out with Lakers
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers waived Metta World Peace on Thursday under the NBA's amnesty provision, which will save the team about $15 million in luxury tax. He was set to earn $7.7 million next season, which the Lakers still must pay.
Peace, formerly Ron Artest, averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 75 games last season, having joined the Lakers in 2009. The 33-year-old tore knee cartilage in March and clearly wasn't the same player afterward. He didn't play in the last game of San Antonio's four-game sweep of the Lakers in the first round.
A 14-year veteran, World Peace has also played for Houston, Sacramento, Indiana and Chicago during his career.
Nets sign Kirilenko
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a contract with forward Andrei Kirilenko, another strong addition for a team that has loaded up on talent this offseason.
Kirilenko accepted the taxpayer's mid-level exception worth about $3.2 million this season. The contract includes a player option for the second year.
The Russian forward opted out of his $10.2 million deal for next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and found a home with the Nets -- owned by fellow Russian and former CSKA Moscow owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Nuggets sign Hickson
DENVER -- Denver bolstered its frontcourt Thursday by signing free agent forward J.J. Hickson to a three-year deal. The 24-year-old bruiser is coming off his best season last year in Portland when he averaged 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds. He joined Dwight Howard as the only players to average 12 points, 10 boards and shoot at least 55 percent from the field.
Mavericks ink Calderon
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks have signed free-agent point guard Jose Calderon to a contract worth $29 million for four seasons. The 6-foot-3, 31-year-old Spaniard led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 46 percent last season. He had spent his entire eight-year career with Toronto before going to Detroit in a three-team deal that included Memphis' Rudy Gay.
Story tags » NBA

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