The Los Angeles Clippers received more bad news this week as the team will reportedly be without veteran guard Chauncey Billups for the start of the season as he continues to nurse a torn Achilles tendon he tore in February, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Billups, 35, started 20 games for the Clippers last season before going down with the injury less than two months into the lockout year. Despite being on the downside of his career, the former NBA Finals MVP averaged 14.9 points and four assists in 30 minutes per game last season for Los Angeles.
The bad news for the team’s backcourt comes on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that the Clippers’ All-Star franchise point guard Chris Paul will be sidelined for eight weeks following August thumb surgery from an injury he sustained during Olympic play this summer. He is expected to miss training camp as well as the preseason and could be on the bench with Billups at the start of the season, which tips off for the Clippers on Halloween in a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With these two injuries, the team may have to start the season with Eric Bledsoe and the recently-acquired Jamal Crawford in the backcourt. Blake Griffin, who signed a five-year contract extension worth nearly $100 million this offseason, had knee surgery after an injury he suffered in the days leading up to the London Olympics. The silver lining for the team right now is that he is expected to be ready for training camp.