Longtime Denver basketball fans might say this is sacrilege, but it’d be a good thing for Denver if Chauncey Billups really does end up as the GM in Cleveland.

On Monday, The Verical’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported that Billups is expected to emerge as a candidate for the vacant Cavaliers general manager role.

Billups, currently and NBA analyst for ESPN, has stated that he would like to be involved in front office operations with an NBA team – including the Nuggets. As the godfather of Denver hoops – from his days at George Washington High School, to his time at Colorado, to his success with the Nuggets – most fans assumed that would be at Pepsi Center.

With the recent promotion of Arturas Karnisovas to general manager and Tim Connelly to president with the Nuggets, the possibility of Billups joining Denver’s front office seemed longer than ever. Now, with this ‘Woj Bomb,’ it seems all but impossible – at least in the immediate future.

Cleveland has played in each of the last three NBA Finals, having won one. They enter the 2017 offseason with a very specific mission in mind: Assemble their own super team to compete with the Golden State Warriors.

Not to take anything away from former Cavs GM David Griffin, but he wasn’t the reason players were considering coming to Cleveland. Give that credit to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. So, adding a highly respected NBA veteran – one with a title and an NBA Finals MVP to his name – to the front office in the form of Billups bolsters the credibility of the Cavaliers as a “winning” organization, which marquee players seeking a title might find important.

The benefit here in Denver is three-fold.

No, it doesn’t make them title contenders immediately. It’s the NBA, so nothing short of a mass influx of marquee free agents or striking gold in the draft a couple times over will make that possible. If anything, it would make Denver less likely to compete for an NBA title anytime in the near future as it would further strengthen Cleveland as one of only two or three teams truly competing for an NBA title over the next couple of seasons.

During that time, however, the city of Denver and the Nuggets can grow – and so can Billups.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available. on the roster is raising the interest of quality players looking for their next home. Both of those things still need a couple years to gestate. Meanwhile, Billups will need some time to learn the ropes as a NBA GM before he’s fully capable of handling a job like Denver.

Let’s be honest. With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the roster, Cleveland isn’t exactly a tough sell these days. It’s not like Billups will be tasked with resurrecting the franchise. He’s simply coming in to help put them over the top.

During that time, he can learn the ropes of life as a front-office executive.

We’ve seen firsthand the lumps a first-time executive can take in the case of Joe Sakic. Better to let Billups learn on someone else’s dime – and in an easier learning environment than here in Denver.

Additionally, anything Billups does accomplish in Cleveland would help further legitimize him in the event he ever did return to Denver in a front-office role.

Had Billups jumped right into a front-office position in Denver, it would be hard to view it as anything other than more home-cooking from a Kroenke Sports and Entertainment group that has routinely drawn from its own ranks, especially of late (Sakic with the Avalanche, Pablo Mastroeni as head coach of the Rapids). The learning curve would be steep in Denver, and Billups would have constantly been battling the “Yeah, but you’re from here,” retort from possible free agents. He won’t get that while he cuts his teeth in Cleveland.

Billups told Mile High Sports not long ago that he wants a front-office job in Denver, but won’t settle for mediocrity. He won’t find that in Cleveland right now, and a trip there buys Denver some time to move out of that realm themselves.

A short tenure in Cleveland (with a couple championships to boast before LeBron retires), while Denver continues to stockpile and develop talent, might be the perfect recipe for success three or four years from now in another Billups-Nuggets reunion.