USA TODAY Sports
Mayo is a free agent that will likely be overpayed in the open market.
This summer, the Pistons can have over $20 million in cap space by letting their own free agents leave, and that number would jump to $30 million if they amnesty Villanueva. With that much cap space, they would be able to sign a maximum-contract player with room to spare.
The problem with this free agent class, is that there are very few players worthy of a max contract. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are, but it is very unlikely that either would be willing to play in Detroit. Josh Smith, Al Jefferson and Nikola Pekovic are all solid players, but they will undoubtedly get overpaid this summer, and they don't play a position of need for the Pistons.
The best wing players available will be O.J. Mayo, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, J.R. Smith, Andre Iguodala and J.J. Redick (in no particular order). These are all very useful players, but they all have major weaknesses. Mayo and Evans have been inconsistent throughout their careers. Iguodala will turn 30 next season and is no longer a very good offensive player. Ellis and Smith are huge defensive liabilities.
The Pistons need to follow Oklahoma City's example and build around their young players, and save cap space to be able to take on salary in a potential trade.
This summer, with a weak free-agent class and a team still far from contention, the Pistons should look to sign veterans to one-year contracts. Older players such as Samuel Dalembert and Elton Brand could improve their roster and serve as mentors to the young guys.
The Pistons may have trouble selling small moves like these to their fan base, but having patience is in the best interest of their future.