According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Los Angeles Clippers free agents Chauncey Billups and Matt Barnes are two players the San Antonio Spurs are interested in.
Billups, 36, has been receiving interest in free agency from the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
Barnes, 33, has also received interest from Dallas, Brooklyn, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks, the source said.
Spears writes that with the moves the Clippers made on Tuesday – trading Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe and also signing Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick – means both Billups and Barnes may look to play elsewhere next season.
For Billups, Redick is expected to start at shooting guard while they still have the dynamic scorer Jamal Crawford on the bench and Willie Green. Spears writes with the retirement of Grant Hill, Barnes could still get playing time backing up Dudley.
In 22 regular season games with the Clippers, Billups averaged 8.4 points and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 40% from the field and 37% from three. Billups also averaged 2.2 free throw attempts per game.
It’s no secret the Spurs are looking for another player who can penetrate a defense and kick out to shooters with Manu Ginobili (if he re-signs) aging, Kawhi Leonard beginning to run plays next season, and with Tony Parker needing a backup who can take a load off all the responsibility he has to carry. Though if the Spurs signed Billups, he’d be the 5th point guard on roster.
As for whether or not the Spurs can afford Billups, he’s coming off a season where he made $4 million dollars. Earlier Tuesday, the Spurs received a verbal agreement from Tiago Splitter on a 4-year $36 million dollar deal. The Spurs still need to try to re-sign Ginobili and they’ve already extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Gary Neal.
In 80 regular season games with the Clippers, Barnes averaged 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, shot 46% from the field and 36% from three. Barnes is coming off a season where he earned nearly $1.3 million.
It’s no secret the Spurs are looking for a backup forward for Leonard as they’ve already been linked to free agent Andrei Kirilenko.