Ben Gordon, Villanueva Visit Detroit
The assumed pursuit of Charlie Villanueva -- now confirmed by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski -- makes more immediate sense. Rasheed Wallace is gone, Amir Johnson will vie for Villanueva's old job in Milwaukee, Antonio McDyess can probably find greener pastures.
But regardless of how it looks now, these are two pursuits that make bundles of sense together.
Most analysts don't seem to realize just how good a scorer Gordon has been his entire career. Ben takes a ton of threes, yet shoots over 41%. That's a rare combination of frequency and efficiency. He's only missed 12 games in five years. Not only can he pop for 20 off the bench -- he can nearly average 20 off the bench! He's an absolute offensive beast.
Villanueva is a similar fellow in the frontcourt. While not as efficient as Gordon, Charlie V is an explosive scorer, averaging some 16 points in only 26 minutes per game this season. If you give him full-time start minutes, you can expect he'll average 20. He's also a solid rebounder at the power forward position and rarely turns over the ball (unlike similar high-volume PFs like Zach Randolph). Basically, Charlie V is a poor man's Chris Bosh. At a poor man's price.
About Bosh: signing up Gordon and Villanueva casts dreams of a class of '10 superstar aside, right? Not necessarily. Assuming Gordon and Villanueva don't draw max money from Joe Dumars this month, the Pistons would be in position to move either Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince over the next year and make room for a $15-20 million star next July. If they so choose.
I happen to think that should Detroit land this pair, they might instead target a defensive-minded big or a stud small forward in lieu of chasing Bosh or Dwyane Wade. Gordon, Villanueva, Stuckey and the cast of kids Dumars has assembled could be a really good team from the get-go.