Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon: Breaking Down the Two New Pistons
Wasting little time, the Detroit Pistons have reportedly agreed to terms with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The initial intention was lunging for Utah's Carlos Boozer, but he opted to stay with the Utah Jazz.
Ben Gordon has reportedly agreed to a five year, $55 million contract, and joining him is former UConn teammate Charlie Villanueva, who has reportedly signed for $40 million for five years. That pretty much takes up all the cap space the Pistons had left.
Looking at it from the Bulls' side, they lose a player that wanted to leave, even after what happened this year. It's clear that Ben Gordon does not want to share the spotlight with Derrick Rose.
Looking at it from the Bucks' perspective, they didn't really want Charlie anyways as he opted to sign Sessions over Charlie.
Ben Gordon, the third overall pick by the Bulls in 2004, has been wanting out of Chicago the past two years. He turned down two $50 million-plus offers. He put on a remarkable display this year against the then-defending champion Boston Celtics, helping the Bulls push that series to seven games.
The Bulls had stated that re-signing Gordon was their top priority this offseason, but that failed to happen, and it showed Gordon's loyalty to the city of Chicago even after having a remarkable performance in the playoffs this year.
Charlie Villanueva was the seventh pick by the Raptors in 2005, and played one season there before being traded to Milwaukee in which he played three seasons for the Bucks.
After making that shaky trade that sent Billups to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson, the Pistons were looking at the rebuilding mode. Rasheed Wallace, their formidable power forward for a couple of years was getting old and his contract expired this year.
The Pistons quickly fell off the map finishing the season with a record below .500 for the first time since 2000-2001 season, ending their six consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were eventually swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers, putting an end to a dismal season.
It was quite obvious that the Pistons were going into a rebuilding mode and they have. Ben Gordon is only 26-years-old and Charlie is 24.
They picked up three players in the draft this year, and already have developing point guard Rodney Stuckey.
The Pistons have been trying to move Hamilton for some time—frankly, he's on the wrong side of 30. He is 31-years-old and will be 32 next February. He is still a good player on and off the ball, and could possibly back up Ben Gordon, but I don't think he will like backing him up, as Gordon and Iverson's ego's can be compared. In my opinion, Ben's is bigger.
Wallace is likely done with the Pistons, and will be moving on. Like I mentioned previously, Boozer was the initial player the Pistons wanted, but he made a shocking move and stayed with the Jazz after saying in previous months he will "opt out and get a pay raise."
Charlie is there to fill in that spot that Wallace is leaving behind. He can stretch the floor like Wallace, and is becoming a much better three-point shooter. He can operate very well in the post and actually plays until the final buzzer sounds, unlike Wallace this past year.
Villanueva posted career highs this year in points (16.7), rebounds (6.7), and assists (1.8), only starting 47 out of the 78 games he played. There is a lot of room for improvement in this 24-year-old, and I think the Pistons jumped the gun on him.
The Cavaliers made it look like Charlie was an All Star—no disrespect to Charlie, but he isn't. He was supposed to go to Cleveland as the player to help LeBron win the title by playing the way he did in Milwaukee.
Charlie's paycheck is fine at $8 million, but what do the Pistons want from him?
Let's not forget that things could change. Free agents are not allowed to sign until July 8.
But with about $2 million left over, it seems like the Pistons free agency has already ended.
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