In the first 24 hours of NBA free agency, the biggest splash was made by the Detroit Pistons, who have reportedly signed both shooting guard Ben Gordon and forward Charlie Villanueva.
This move is hard to analyze in regards to Gordon because it’s difficult to fathom how both he and Richard Hamilton can co-exist. Both need the ball and a lot of shots to be effective. Perhaps Hamilton is on his way out of Detroit but until it happens, this is a negative move in terms of Gordon’s fantasy output.
With the size of the contract (around $11 million per season), it’s fair to assume Gordon will be a starter. After all, he wasn’t happy coming off the bench in Chicago. So does that leave a Rodney Stuckey, Hamilton, Gordon starting arrangement? I have a feeling a lot more dominoes will fall before we get a true idea of what Gordon will be worth this season.
For Villanueva – whose deal is reportedly five years for $40 million – this is a positive step. The Pistons have made a huge commitment to him, which means he’ll be getting quality minutes on a regular basis.
With Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess gone via free agency and Amir Johnson dealt away, Villanueva will be the main man inside for the Pistons.
Villanueva has never been a true inside player. He doesn’t play physical enough. But he has a wide array of offensive skills, including a solid jumper, and above average rebounding ability.
In four NBA seasons, Villanueva has averaged 18.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.2 3-pointers, 2.4 assists and 1.0 blocks per 36 minutes. He has a .451 career FG% and .789 FT%.
It gives a glimpse of what type of player he can be with 30-plus minutes per game and depending on how the Detroit roster fills out, he’s likely to be a hot commodity on draft day.