Charlie Villanueva, who has very publicly been documenting his free agency, might be on the verge of an NBA contract.
Five years ago, Villanueva signed a five-year, $37.7 million contract with the Pistons. It didn’t go so hot. From his final year with the Bucks through five years in Detroit, his scoring average dropped from 16.2 to 11.9 to 11.1 to 7.0 to 6.8 to 4.6.
Villanueva’s decline made it seem his time in the league might be finished.
But apparently, he has options.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
The Clippers, who’ve already signed Ekpe Udoh and Chris Douglas-Roberts, have 13 players with guaranteed contracts plus DeAndre Liggins on a non-guaranteed deal. They’re also reportedly interested in Ray Allen and Hedo Turkoglu, so they wouldn’t have room for both and Villanueva. But they also have just three bigs – Spencer Hawes, Glen Davis and Udoh – behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
With guaranteed contracts alone, the Mavericks already have the regular-season limit of 15 players. They also have Ivan Johnson and Eric Griffin on partial guarantees. What they don’t have: a stretch big besides Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas has made a habit lately of buying low on talented players and then putting them in position to succeed, and Villanueva fits the bill. But I don’t see how the Mavericks have room for him.
My advice to Villanueva: Join whichever team offers a higher guarantee. If the guarantees are equal – or maybe even close – go to Los Angeles. The Clippers offer a much better chance of making the team.