Will Charlie Villanueva Be Object of Desire for Warriors This Summer?
The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to make qualifying offers to Ramon Sessions and Ersan Ilyasova, both of whom are restricted free agents. They have, however, opted not to make any offers to Charlie Villanueva.
As a free agent, the Golden State Warriors, who were seconds away from landing Amare Stoudemire on June 25, should have their eyes on Villanueva this July.
With Jamal Crawford coming off the salary books, the Warriors are expected to make around $61,244,674 next year—assuming the Dubs do not tweak the roster.
The Warriors have, by no means, finished trading this offseason—as the chase for a solid power forward or center remains heavily active. If the Warriors decide to target Villanueva this July, they would have to offer him a mid-level exception (expected to be around $5.8 million) for the first year of his contract.
The Oakland-based team should attempt to clear cap space by trading forward Brandan Wright and guard Marco Belinelli. The Warriors should also be kicking themselves in the foot after signing Corey Maggette to five years and $50 million last season.
Villanueva averaged a career-best 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 27 minutes per game for the Bucks in the 2008-2009 campaign. The 6'11'' forward would bring some much-needed help to the Warriors in the rebounding and defending departments, if he lands in the Bay Area.
In addition, Villanueva has a good mid-range jumper, and a reasonable long-range shot (shooting 36 percent on three-pointers last season). This could spark the interest of head coach Don Nelson, as well.
It's most likely that Villanueva will join the Cavaliers, as he has a good relationship with both LeBron James and Mo Williams. The Cavs are also desperate for an NBA championship before the 2010 free agent market takes the league by storm.
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