Detroit Pistons Sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva: What Now?

Austin DrakeSenior Analyst IJuly 2, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 28:  Ben Gordon #7 of the Chicago Bulls heads for the net against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on April 28, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Bulls 106-104 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Cavaliers traded for Shaq. The Magic traded for Vince Carter. The Celtics are looking to sign Rasheed Wallace and will get Kevin Garnett back. The Detroit Pistons...have some work to do.

So, the first day of Free Agency came upon us, and the Pistons wasted no time making a splash in the market, signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, both to five-year contracts. Gordon will make between $50 and $60 million and Villanueva $40 million.

This past week, Detroit also fired head coach Michael Curry after only one year with the team. Front-runners for the job look to be Avery Johnson and Doug Collins.

Whoever the new coach may be, the two deals make a big mess of the starting lineup for the Pistons. To my imagination, it will turn out like PG Rodney Stuckey, SG Rip Hamilton, SF Tayshaun Prince, PF Antonio McDyess and C Charlie Villanueva.

With that lineup, Gordon becomes the sixth man and the team is without any solid presence in the paint.

So, now what?

The Pistons need a big man. It's that simple, and with an excess of guards, the players on the block are Hamilton and Prince.

I can't see the Pistons dealing away Prince as of now, since he is arguably the best player on the team and brings the complete package to the game. Shooting, defense, speed, effort, and athleticism. He is an all-around star.

With Rip being in the middle of a three-year, $34 million contract and Ben Gordon now able to fill his shoes, I see the main man Joe Dumars shopping around.

So, if Dumars is looking to trade, Amar'e Stoudemire is first on everybody's mind. Although he had some problems last two season's with eye injuries, he is still one of the best big men in the game today.

It may be a very difficult trade to get done, but Phoenix is definitely listening to offers. The Pistons would have to give up Hamilton, another solid player, and maybe a future draft pick to haul in Amare.

Another trade that could work would be for Utah's Carlos Boozer, who exercised his option to stay with the Jazz for the 2010 season. Utah would be willing to deal Boozer, since they also have Mehmet Okur and re-signed Paul Millsap.

If free agency is the way to go, Brandon Bass may be the answer for Detroit. A four-year veteran of the league has always been the backup. But, over the past two seasons he has really stepped up his game with the Mavericks, averaging 8.4 points/game, 4.5 Rebounds/game, and 0.7 Blocks/game.

He may not be the most dominant big man in the game or the most recognized, but Bass' big 6'8", 203-pound frame makes him a lot to handle in the key.

One more option in free agency is a big man with range, Hedo Turkoglu. He's not your average 6'10" basketball player. He dosen't call for the ball in the paint, block shots, and snatch rebounds. This guy wants to shoot, and why not let him? He shoots 39 percent career from beyond the three-point line.

Don't get me wrong, he does do everything well. In his career, he averages 4.2 rebounds/game and 2.7 assists/game

There are four options for Dumars to pick from to add a much needed paint presence to a team who is looking to get back to Championship contention. It'll be tough to beat the LeBron-Shaq's, Superman-Carter's and Pierce-Garnett's in 2009-2010.

Can Detroit do it? We'll see.