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Bucks Pass on Charlie Villanueva

Jun 29, 2009 – 6:40 PM
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Gary Washburn

Gary Washburn %BloggerTitle%

Charlie VillanuevaThe NBA free-agent pool just got more intriguing when the Milwaukee Bucks announced they would not extend a qualifying offer to forward Charlie Villanueva, making the former UConn standout an unrestricted free agent.

The Bucks can still re-sign Villanueva but cannot match any other offer, as they would have had the right to if he were a restricted free agent. Villanueva is a player who has never been able to stay consistently healthy or find a comfort zone with his previous two teams -- Milwaukee and Toronto.

But a look at Villanueva's numbers tell NBA teams that he has a place somewhere in the league. He averaged 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in less than 27 minutes per game. That's 0.6 points per minute, on the same scoring pace as Portland's Brandon Roy, and Villanueva doesn't turn 25 until August.

"Well, I would like to thank my Milwaukee fans, for 3 great years, and Senator Kohl, but my journey in Milwaukee has come to a end," he said via Twitter about 6 p.m. EDT. "
Now its on Gods hands, where will I end up, only time will tell."

Of course, the Bucks are trying to save money, shedding the contract of Richard Jefferson last week in a trade with San Antonio. Fabricio Oberto, acquired from the Spurs, was dealt to Detroit for Amir Johnson, potentially the heir apparent to Villanueva. Meanwhile, the Bucks offered contracts to point guard Ramon Sessions and 2005 second-round pick Ersan Ilyasova, who has played the past two years in Spain.

Villanueva could be a good addition to a club looking for a scorer and difficult defensive matchup. The 6-foot-11 Villanueva is more of a swingman, which have become popular with the emergence of the Orlando Magic.
Filed under: Sports