Life in Central Division Tough for Milwaukee Bucks

Brian PeoplisCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2009

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 09: Charlie Villanueva #31 of the Milwaukee Bucks puts up a shot against the Houston Rockets on February 9, 2009 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks defeated the Rockets 124-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

While the Bucks continue down the long road to rebuilding, their central division foe's are already reloading.

Yesterday the Detroit Pistons made contract offers to free agents Ben Gordan and Charlie Villanueva.  It's my opinion that the biggest mistake a GM can make is allowing one of their own players to depart for a division opponent, and this case is obviously no different.

John Hammond had a chance to deal Charlie V at the trade deadline last season, but declined to do so because he was basically our only offensive option at the time.  Bucks fans knew that Ramon Sessions and Villanueva were going to become free agents at the end of the 2008-09' season, and they also knew that only one of them could stick around.

I don't fault Hammond for not trading Villanueva last season; I'd rather see my favorite team make a solid effort to win games rather than consider the season a wash. But I also knew that Charlie V had little to no chance of sticking around, primarily because of his sketchy defense, which drove Scott Skiles crazy.

Therefore, I think a trade last season could have been a great option. Now, the Bucks will face Villanueva and a re-vamped Pistons team on several occasions throughout the season, and there is no doubt in my mind that "V" will come out guns blazing in each game.

Consider that for a moment while I politely remind you that the Cavs have acquired Shaq and are now reportedly interested in bringing Ron Artest aboard...

Yeah, it's tough to be a rebuilding franchise in the central division this season.  As they say, the best thing you can do is weather the storm and keep moving forward.