Yahoo Sports reports
The Detroit Pistons have reached agreement with free-agent guard Ben Gordon on a five-year contract worth around $55 million, a source with knowledge of the talks told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday evening.
The Pistons are continuing to negotiate with forward Charlie Villanueva and are moving closer to an agreement.
July 8 is the first day free agents can officially sign contracts.
A person with the knowledge of the negotiations says the Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle to contracts with free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
Villanueva, the seventh overall pick by Toronto in 2005 who has played the last three of his NBA season with the Milwaukee Bucks, also agreed to a five-year deal. His contract is worth at least $35 million.
Update: A report from Chris Broussard says that Villanueva’s deal is $40 million over five years. Not confirmed yet. There are several reports at $35 million. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow.
Ben Gordon is not worth $55 million over five years.
The Pistons now have Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon in the backcourt. Joe Dumars has said that he wanted to get Stuckey more minutes at the two next season, and not solely at the point guard spot, well that plan looks done for. Is one of these guys on the way out? Surely, it would be Rip Hamilton if anyone.
Charlie Villanueva is solid value at $35 million over five years (I dislike it, but it’s not too bad). That’s just above the MLE. For a player who put up 16 and 7 in 27 minutes, and could put up 18-20 points and 8-9 rebounds in 32-35 minutes, that’s a good paycheck.
If nothing else … Charlie V will be a good trade asset while on that contract, assuming he continues to be get major minutes and continues to be productive.
Pistons Cap Space
The Pistons had around $40 million committed in salaries prior to these signings. That left them with around $17-18 million in cap space.
I haven’t seen any figures for Gordon’s + Villanueva’s starting starting salaries, but we’re likely looking at close to $15 million. Therefore, their cap space is pretty much done for.
Pistons 2010 Cap Space
I reckon the Pistons have about $50 million tied up in salaries heading into that offseason. So they’ll only have around $8-10 million in cap room.
Of course, if they manage to trade Rip Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince for an expiring contract, the Pistons could get far enough below the cap to offer a max contract to someone.
Rest Of The League
The rest of the NBA should be happy that Joe Dumars spent nearly all his cap space on Gordon and Villanueva, and was unable to turn his side into a legitimate force.
In a word? Bleak
What is this team capable of next season?
This is a team struggling to win 45 games next season
Charlie Villanueva and Kwame Brown as their starting big men? Who is that frightening? Pistons fans that’s who!
What is going to happen to their defense? Villanueva is one of the worst defenders in the league at his position. Detroit loses Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess, and also Amir Johnson, that’s a lot of their big man defense out the door without any capable replacements coming in.
How about their medium-to-long term future?
The Pistons lack cap flexibility, and lack highly valued trade assets, so acquiring elite players will be incredibly difficult.
This is a team that either needs to be broken up now, or will be forced into a series of high risk acquisitions in the hope of making things work.
Summarize what the Pistons just did?
Detroit just boxed themselves in the corner.
They built a mediocre team and have made it very difficult for them to progress into a contender.
They are in trouble.