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Pistons won’t amnesty Charlie Villanueva

Jul 11, 2013, 6:36 PM EDT

Charlie Villanueva

The Pistons already made their big move – signing Josh Smith – and their small moves (signing Chauncey Billups and Luigi Datome and re-signing Will Bynum). They might still have a little cap room left to make another small signing, but they’re already over the roster limit including their draft picks, so adding the caliber of player likely available with so little money probably won’t get them anywhere.

Of course, they could pursue one of the better free agents available – Jeff Teague? – if they amnestied Charlie Villanueva and the one year and $8.58 million left on his contract. But the Pistons won’t amnesty Villanueva, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com.*

The news will probably disappoint Pistons fans, who’ve watched their team fall from atop the Eastern Conference to completely out of the playoffs in Villanueva’s four Detroit seasons. That’s not all Villanueva’s fault, but his lackluster defense and rebounding – when he’s even able to get on the court – don’t have anyone wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The Pistons might have declined to use the amnesty to save owner Tom Gores money, because if they’d amnestied Villanueva and signed a replacement, Gores would have to pay two players to fill one roster spot.

But it’s also possible the Pistons want Villanueva’s contract to use in a trade, where it could allow them to accept up to $12.97 million in return. If Villanueva isn’t amnestied, the Pistons could take back only the amount of money they’re under the cap plus $100,000 – surely a lower figure.

So, though Pistons fans might be unhappy today, they’ll surely change their tune if Villanueva’s contract helps them land Rudy Gay or Rajon Rondo. More likely, Villanueva will spend most of the season on Detroit’s bench, look good in one small stretch of the year and then ride off into the sunset free agency next summer.

*Aldridge also added the Pistons are wary of falling below the team salary floor ($52,811,000), but he later correctly clarified that any amount the Pistons pay Villanueva next season, even if Villanueva is amnestied, would still count toward the floor.

  1. nycalldayz - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Pistons are a horribly run org.

  2. dezglobal - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Joe Dumars is working hard to make this season a good one bc its the final year of his contract w a new owner.. Another new coach, a lottery draft pick, Rasheed coming back as an assistant to the bigs the have in the front court, Chauncey coming back and of course Josh Smith signing.. Thats a lot of moves… If this team dsnt make the playoffs and win at least one series Joe D shouldn’t be given a contract extension. He’s made too many bad decisions and spent way too much money to have them drastically under perform in recent years.

  3. bellerophon30 - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    You hope he’s there as a trade chip if you’re a Pistons fan. Otherwise it just looks like them not wanting to pay something (a lot of somethings) for nothing. That’s a good business attitude, but this is the entertainment business, which is a different sort of animal.

    And as for this Detroit getting Rudy Gay business……..where exactly would he play? Can he play the 2 at this stage of his career? I’m not saying that he’s not better than a Stuckey/Villanueva combo, but there are only so many shots to go around.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Well why the hell not?

    And in response to the author saying the owner wouldn’t want to fill his spot and pay two players…they already have Josh Smith, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko. They would just be clearing minutes to players more deserving.

    The amnesty was created for players JUST LIKE CHARLIE VILLANUEVA. When you see amnesty in the NBA dictionary, CV’s face is next to the definition.

  5. jcmeyer10 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    In all fairness, he is an expiring contract which can have a ton of value, depending on the situation.

    Probably why the Celts asked for Krissy in the Nets deal. The Luxury Tax is getting 50-100% more punishing every season. DET/BOS might luck out and find a team trying to avoid getting hammered and get back more than the player/contract is worth.

  6. borderline1988 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Why would you amnesty a guy with one year left on his contract, when the roster is already filled out?
    Only to save luxury tax dollars.

    But considering the trade value, why wouldn’t they keep him until the deadline and see what they can get? Detroit fans should be happy – their owner is willing to waste some money on this guy for the chance to upgrade the roster at the deadline if the Pistons have a chance at the playoffs.

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