Thursday , Jul , 02 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Bosh? LeBron? D-Wade? No, Detroit settles for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva

Nothing against Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, but I hope this isn’t it. I hope GM Joe Dumars has another move up his sleeve and this isn’t the end of Detroit’s rebuilding efforts. My reaction is based on November 3rd, 2008. That’s the day Dumars ended the Pistons’ run as Eastern Conference contenders and traded MVP candidate Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson’s expiring contract …


Bosh? LeBron? D-Wade? No, Detroit settles for Ben Gordon and Charlie VillanuevaBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis … 

Their News: "The Detroit Pistons made the biggest early splash in free agency on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

Former Bulls guard Gordon will receive a five-year deal for between $55 million and $60 million, while former Bucks forward Villanueva gets a five-year deal for $40 million, sources told ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard". ESPN.com news services

Our Very Quick Analysis: Nothing against Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, but I hope this isn’t it. I hope GM Joe Dumars has another move up his sleeve and this isn’t the end of Detroit’s rebuilding efforts.

My reaction is based on November 3rd, 2008. That’s the day Dumars ended the Pistons’ run as Eastern Conference contenders and traded MVP candidate Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson’s expiring contract.

The Hall of Fame two-guard justified donating Billups to Denver by stating the organization would gain the cap space to sign or trade for top talent and rebuild on the fly. And based on Dumars’ record as an executive, I couldn’t disagree.

For me, top talent means chasing Chris Bosh or doing everything short of tampering to indicate to Dwyane Wade and/or LeBron James that they’d receive a max offer if they opted-out next summer. In short, it means getting great, not good players.

Like you, I thought that was Dumars’ plan. Well, we were wrong.

Let’s be clear: I like Gordon and Villanueva. In fact, I like them a lot. Gordon can start or come off the bench and handled some controversial contract negotiations with remarkable professionalism. Villanueva, when not twittering at half time, is a versatile and talented scorer, who once hit for fifty points as a rookie in Toronto.

But Gordon and Villanueva are good, not great. Neither has been to an All-Star game (as a participant). Neither is talented enough for franchises to build around. And both are blending players that don’t have true positions.

To be fair, Dumars succeeded with players like Gordon and Villanueva. He built his reputation as a suit on acquiring under-appreciated assets like Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Ben Wallace. These players then repaid the franchise’s loyalty with an NBA Title. And the Pistons have always preferred an ensemble cast to a superstar model.

However, Dumars sold fans on the Billups trade because it would supposedly provide the cap space to chase elite talent, the NBA’s creme de la creme. Signing good not great Gordon and Villanueva on the first day of free agency shows otherwise.       

Did Dumars make a mistake with Gordon and Villanueva? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of saidalsalah1.