Joe Dumars took another huge step towards completely overhauling the Detroit Pistons roster Wednesday by signing two of the better free agents in the relatively weak 2009 class.
Multiple sources are reporting the Pistons have signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The duo spent one season as teammates at UConn and figure to move into the starting lineup next season in Detroit.
Gordon reportedly is getting a five-year, $55 million deal from the Pistons. Dumars evidently believes B.G.’s dynamic scoring ability outweighs his two glaring weaknesses: shot selection and defense.
The arrival of Gordon will likely single the end of Rip Hamilton’s tenure in the Motor City. The Pistons will try to move the 31 year-old Hamilton to obtain a big man. Carlos Boozer and Chris Kaman are the most likely targets.
Villanueva is expected to sign a five-year, $35 million deal. The three-year pro enjoyed a breakout season in 2008-2009, averaging 16.2 ppg and 6.7 rpg in 78 games with the Bucks.
The Pistons could use the 6’11” Villanueva at either forward position. Tayshaun Prince could be moved this offseason to acquire additional frontcourt depth.
It remains to be seen if this deal will help improve the Pistons. Rodney Stuckey and Gordon will be one of the smallest backcourts in the NBA. Gordon had a tendency to make Derrick Rose disappear last season by dominating the ball, it seems reasonable to expect the same with Stuckey. Villanueva is one of the more underrated players in the NBA. His tendency to drift (and twitter) during games drove Bucks coach Scott Skiles nuts.
Joe Dumars now turns his attention to finding a coach. Doug Collins and Avery Johnson are the most likely candidates.
Stay tuned for more free agent news.