William Edward “Billy” Paultz (born July 30, 1948) is a retired American professional basketball player.
Born in River Edge, New Jersey, Paultz played college basketball at Cameron Junior College and then at Saint John’s University, and was selected in the seventh round of the 1970 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets and by the Virginia Squires in the 1970 ABA Draft. Paultz opted to sign with the Squires. On August 11, 1970 the Squires traded his rights to the New York Nets in exchange for a draft choice and cash.
He played professional ball both in the National Basketball Association and in the now defunct American Basketball Association. His nickname was “The Whopper”, and he stands 6 feet 11 inches tall.
As a rookie, Paultz made his first playoff appearance in 1970-1971 with the New York Nets. He spent his first five seasons, all in the playoffs, with the ABA Nets, and was a key player in their 1974 championship season. He was then traded to the San Antonio Spurs where he made four appearances in the playoffs, including one in an ABA championship final from 1975–1979.
Although Paultz moved with a bulky stiffness, he was a very heady player. He was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he played for two and a half seasons, and he teamed with Moses Malone to make the 1980-81 finals. During the 1982-83 season, (without Malone), and with the Rockets in last place, he was placed on waivers and picked up by the playoff-bound Spurs. In 1984, he was a late season pickup by the playoff bound Atlanta Hawks He finished his career with the Utah Jazz in 1985.
A three time ABA All-Star, Paultz led the ABA in blocked shots during the 1975-1976 season.
About his play, Paultz stated, “I have realized that I’m not an overpowering type center. I don’t really know what my category is. I have always been the type of player that can do a little bit of everything.”
Paultz played organized basketball at River Dell Regional High School in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Career highlights and awards
ABA champion (1974)
3× ABA All-Star (1973, 1975–1976)
ABA All-Time Team