Billups chose Colorado over Kansas, Georgia Tech, California and Oklahoma State. At Colorado, Billups averaged 18.5 points per game over his two seasons. In the 1996–97 season he was named to the All-Big 12 Conference First Team and the Basketball Times All-American First Team. That same year, Billups led the Buffaloes to their first NCAA tournament victory in over thirty years in a 80–62 win over Indiana.
Chauncey did not mesh with new Celtics head coach Rick Pitino. Years later, Billups reflected on his stint his Boston, commenting, "That didn't help. That didn't give me a chance to really slow down and listen to myself, listen to the game and what's going on. I never really had that chance. It was a recipe for disaster there." In addition, the Celtics coaching staff did not know whether to play him as a point guard or shooting guard.
Fifty-one games into his rookie season, Billups was traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for All-Star point guard Kenny Anderson on the last day of the 1997-98 NBA trading deadline.
Billups then played for the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets traded Chauncey to the Orlando Magic. He never played a game for the Magic due to an injured shoulder. He also wore the number 2.
Billups was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a back-up to then point guard Terrell Brandon, who would mentor the troubled player alongside Sam Mitchell and Kevin Garnett. The two would work on shooting, scouting, decision-making and the other attributes that came with playing point guard in the NBA.
During the 2001-02 season, Brandon suffered a serious knee injury. Billups replaced him and had a breakthrough 2001–02 season. Timberwolves won 50 games before they were swept by Dallas in Round 1 of the playoffs, with Billups averaging 22 points per game in the series.
After his breakthrough season, Billups became a free agent. Billups had wanted to return to Minnesota, however the Timberwolves were engulfed in salary-cap issues and wanted to see how Brandon would respond to his knee injury.
In June 2002, Billups signed a six-year, $35 million contract with the Detroit Pistons to be the team's new starting point guard. When he signed with the Pistons, he was forced to take the number 1 because number 4 was retired in honor of Joe Dumars. Billups quickly earned respect from Pistons fans and colleagues for his tenacious defense and clutch shooting. He helped Detroit win the 2004 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers, four games to one. He averaged 21 points and 5.2 assists per game during the series to earn the NBA Finals MVP Award. The following season, Billups was named to the 2005 NBA Second All-Defensive Team, along with teammate Tayshaun Prince, while teammate and co-captain of the Pistons Ben Wallace took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Pistons reached the 2005 NBA Finals but lost in their bid to repeat as champions to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.
In 2006, Billups was co-captain of the team. Although he captained the Pistons to a franchise best 64–18 record, they failed to make it to the NBA Finals for the first time in three years. He also led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. On July 11, 2007, Billups signed a $46 million, four-year contract with the Pistons (which includes a team option for a fifth year at $14 million). He had been an unrestricted free agent for several days after he opted out of the previous contract, which he had signed in 2002.
Through his six years with Detroit, Billups made six straight conference championship series, two NBA Finals, and won an NBA Championship. He was an All-Star three times, made the all-NBA team three times and All-Defensive second team twice.
Return to Denver Nuggets
On November 3, 2008, Billups was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb, for Allen Iverson. Pistons GM Joe Dumars said that was "the hardest and toughest" move he had made as a general manager, describing Billups as "... a guy that I have looked at as a little brother."
Billups chose the number 7 jersey to honor Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, since two of his other favorite numbers, 1 and 4, were already worn by J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, respectively. He played his first game of the Nuggets' 2008–09 season on November 7, 2008. He recorded 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of play in a 108–105 Nuggets' home win. He finished the season averaging 17.7 ppg, and 6.4 apg.
With Billups and Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets accomplished a number of franchise milestones. Their 54–28 record matched the most wins the franchise had gotten since their induction in the NBA, their 27–14 start was also a record for wins in the first half of a season. This also marked the first time in the franchise's history the team had gotten 50 wins in back-to-back seasons. They led the Northwest division for much of the season, eventually winning the division and gaining the number two seed in the Western Conference, matching the highest the team had ever been seeded for the playoffs. In the first round, they defeated the New Orleans Hornets in 5 games, which included a record-equaling 58-point margin-of-victory. Billups also set a Nuggets franchise record with the most 3 pointers in a playoff game with 8, and his 19 3-pointers in total is also a Nuggets record for 3s made in a playoff series. Billups averaged 22.6 ppg, 7.4 apg, and 3.8 3PM in that series. In his first year with the Nuggets, Billups led them back to the NBA Conference Finals for the first time since 1985. This was Billups' 7th straight conference finals. He joined Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kurt Rambis as the only players to accomplish this feat since the Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s led by Bill Russell. Billups finished the season sixth in voting for the 2009 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He received six fourth place votes and totaled 33 points. He was also selected to his second All-NBA Third Team.
For the 2009–10 season, Billups reverted to wearing No. 1, the same number he wore with the Detroit Pistons. Teammate J.R. Smith, who had previously worn No. 1 since being acquired by the Nuggets in 2006, changed to the No. 5 jersey. On November 27, 2009, in the Nuggets' 128–125 win over the New York Knicks, Billups scored 32 points while teammate Melo scored 50. This made them only the third duo in NBA history to score at least 30 and 50 points respectively. On February 5, 2010, Billups set a career high in points with a 39 point performance in a road win over the Los Angeles Lakers with 27 of them coming from 9 three-pointers. During the 2010-11 season as a Nugget, he averaged 16.5 points per game, 5.3 assists per game, and 2.5 rebounds per game in 32.3 minutes per game. His .441 three point field goal percentage was a career high. He played 51 games with the team that season.
New York Knicks
|New York Knicks 2010–11 season roster|
|1 Amar'e Stoudemire|
|2 Derrick Brown|
|3 Shawne Williams|
|4 Chauncey Billups|
|6 Landry Fields|
|7 Carmelo Anthony|
|11 Andy Rautins|
|13 Shelden Williams|
|14 Ronny Turiaf|
|16 Roger Mason, Jr.|
|20 Jared Jeffries|
|25 Anthony Carter|
|32 Renaldo Balkman|
|67 Toney Douglas|
|89 Аleksei Mendeleevskiy|
|Head coach: Mike D'Antoni|
Despite publicly professing his desire to finish his career in hometown Denver and retire as a Nugget, Billups was traded to the New York Knicks on February 22, 2011 as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. Billups was "collateral damage"—as more than one sportswriter put it—of Carmelo Anthony's desire to play in New York and the Nuggets' desire to trade Anthony before he became a free agent. "Oh it was hard, hardest thing I've ever had to do," Billups said. "I had to tell my girls that daddy was traded, that he was leaving to play across the country. I told them it wasn't my choice, that nothing could be done about it. I had to go. It wasn't a happy scene." During the 2010-2011 season as a Knick while wearing number 4, he averaged 17.5 points per game, 5.5 assists per game, and 3.1 rebounds per game in 31.6 minutes per game. He played 21 games with the Knicks.
The Knicks finished 42-40 and clinched the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Billups suffered a knee injury while playing against the Celtics in Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The injury would keep Billups sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.
Shortly after the Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Billups mentioned he would love to return to the Knicks next season. "I would love the opportunity to really try it up with these guys," Billups said. "Not like play 30 games after a trade, like really have a season. Have an opportunity to really get a fair shake with these guys. I would love to." In December, 2011, the Knicks used their amnesty clause on Billups, and put him on waivers, ending his tenure as a Knick.
Los Angeles Clippers
After his tenure with the Knicks came to an end, Billups became an unrestricted free agent. Many believed that a contender like the Miami Heat or the Los Angeles Lakers would end up acquiring Billups. However, on December 12, 2011, the Los Angeles Clippers claimed Billups off waivers. Billups indicated that he didn't want to be picked up by a team that was not contending for a championship and said he would retire if he was, pushing the NBA to warn him and his agent that he would be "in breach of his contract" if he did not show up. However, the Clippers ended up trading for the Hornets' superstar point guard Chris Paul two days later. After the Chris Paul trade, Billups said that he was happy to be with the Clippers, saying that "I think these guys are ready to take the next leap and hopefully I can help with that".
Billups, a point guard, was moved into the shooting guard position, which he was still getting used to when he was injured. On February 7, 2012, an MRI revealed a tear in Billups's Achilles tendon, ending his season and only appeared in 20 games. Billups helped the Clippers beat Miami, Oklahoma City, Orlando and Los Angeles en route to a 19–9 start.
On July 13, 2012, Billups re-signed with the Clippers on a 1 year deal. He made his season debut on November 28, 2012, against the Timberwolves. Billups was limited to only 22 games during the season because of various injuries, including a sore back and tendinitis in his left foot.
On June 10, 2013, Billups received the inaugural Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. Billups was humbled by the award, and said, "For my name to be mentioned with Jack Twyman, I really don't feel worthy, to be honest with you. It's kind of embarrassing." During the 2012-13 season, Billups averaged a new career high free-throw percentage. He became a free agent after the season.
Last Year Return to Detroit Pistons
On July 16, 2013, Billups signed a two-year, $5 million contract to return to the Pistons. More knee problems caused him to miss most of the 2013–14 season, as he appeared in his fewest games since the 1999–2000 season and averaged career lows in points, minutes, steals, FG%, and 3P% during the year. The Pistons finished the season at 29-53, and missed the postseason.
On June 30, 2014, the Pistons announced they would not pick up their team option on Billups' contract for the 2014–15 season.
On September 9, 2014, Billups announced his retirement from the NBA after 17 years.
Chauncey was a 6 ft 3 in, 210 lbs Point Guard and Shooting Guard. In the start of his career, many experts placed Billups as a draft bust since he played for four teams in two seasons. However, things started to look up when he became a Timberwolf. Thanks to the mentorship of Terrell Brandon, KG, and coach Mitchell, he improved greatly.