Detroit Pist-ing Their Money Away



By: David Kay

Heading into the NBA free agency period, the Detroit Pistons were one of the few buyers in the market willing to shell out the cash to sign a big name free agent.  As the clock struck midnight on July 1st, Joe Dumars wasted no time in courting his desired targets as both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva flew to Detroit to meet with the Pistons general manager.  Reports have now surfaced that both former UConn Huskies will indeed call Motor City home for the next five years.  Detroit and Bulls free agent shooting guard Ben Gordon have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $55 million deal while Villanueva’s contract is for the same length at $40 million.

Personally, I am not in love with either signing.  Gordon, who turned down a similar offer from the Bulls last off-season, is developing into a big-time scorer, but has yet to show consistency in his game-to-game performance.  He was one of the top free agents in the 2009 class and it is now evident that he had little desire to return to Chicago.  But where does Gordon fit in Detroit?  Rip Hamilton is already on the roster and sulked last year when he was forced to come off the bench.  And it’s not like Rip is going anywhere as he has four years, $49.5 million left on his currently deal.  That poses a dilemma as that contract will not be easy to deal in a market where most teams are looking to dump long, expensive contracts than take them on.

My biggest concern with the Gordon signing is the fact that, in my opinion, Piston starting point guard Rodney Stuckey is a poor-man’s version of Gordon.  Neither has the capability to be a true point guard and are more shooters than creators.

charlie20072As for Villanueva, I have seen him play in Milwaukee for the past couple of seasons and I’m not a fan of his game.  Chaz V. can light up the scoreboard every once in a while, but for every 40-point game, he has four ten point performances in a row.  He was not a favorite of Bucks head coach Scott Skiles, moving in and out of the starting line-up partially because of his minimal effort on the defensive end (and partially because he likes to tweet during games.)

Detroit has always been a defensive-minded team which makes Villanueva’s signing a bit perplexing.  Plus, for a 6-11 “power” forward, Villanueva is softer than Lance Bass at the Playboy mansion and spends most of his time on offense wandering around the perimeter rather than trying to be a factor underneath.  With Chaz V, Tayshaun Prince, and Austin Daye all in Motown, the Pistons now have three tall, lengthy but physically inferior forwards who have similar styles of play.  Interesting.

The re-building process has officially begun in Detroit with familiar faces like Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace (who almost certainly will not be re-signed) being shown the door in the past few months.  Now Gordon and Villanueva will be faced with the task of ushering in a new era of Piston basketball.  Next up; find someone to coach these guys…


  1. paulmbanks says

    Dumars sort of seems like he’s trying to fill the Isiah Thomas void here with these transactions

  2. Yes, I was just going to say that these “bad boys” have been a blessing for the Bulls. As far as Hamilton, Forman should get on the phone right now to see if Dumars is interested in a Hamilton for Deng swap. I know he has the idea that he wants to start the three guards, but who knows what he’s thinking.
    What we do know is that Dumars just handcuffed himself for five years.

  3. H. Jose Bosch says

    The more I think of these deals, the less I like them. Is there any way Detroit could just pick up Emeka Okafor? Hell why doesn’t Dumars just hire Jim Calhoun? Christ.

  4. Dave Boucher says

    Hey, they’re better than AI. I think we’ll have to wait and see what coach Joe goes with, to see how these guys will fit into the system

  5. 1. Rip will be moved this offseason.

    2. “Piston starting point guard Rodney Stuckey is a poor-man’s version of Gordon.” is factually wrong. Ben Gordon is a SG whereas Stuckey is a PG. There’s no arguing the difference in types of game that suits each player.

    3. “Detroit has always been a defensive-minded team” Unfortunately this year this has changed. They dropped to 8th in pts allowed/game this year after being in the top 3 for the previous 6 years. Joe D made this team less defensive-minded in 08-09 (with the Curry and AI signings). I’m simply arguing this isn’t the same Pistons team that has existed for most of the 21st century, much to my dismay.

    4. Avery Johnson will improve this team. Especially if Rip and Sheed are moved.

  6. paulmbanks says

    I hope, for their sake Rip is moved this offseason.

    Stuckey is not a true point guard…I think he’s closer to being a true poitn guard than Gordon, but not that much closer. Like last year, this team is really going to miss Chauncey

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