Charlie Villanueva is starting to earn his paycheck, to some extent.
The Detroit Pistons’ forward, in the fourth year of a reported five-year $35 million deal, hasn’t been playing much lately and has been earning the big bucks by being a bench cheerleader. He’s not all that great at that either, by the way.
Lately, Villanueva is seeing some playing time, thanks to Jonas Jerebko’s struggles, and he’s actually hitting some shots. Considering his previous struggles, watching the $7 million man hit his shots is no small feat.
In a recent 108-101 NBA win over the Portland Trailblazers, Villanueva was 4-of-6 and had 10 points. Prior to this, in a loss to the New York Knicks, the $7 million man was 7-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-7 in three-pointers for 17 points.
“I felt like the first game I was a little rusty,” Villanueva said. “This game I felt more comfortable out there and guys made the right plays and put me in a position where I could be successful.”
The Pistons have struggled at 4-11, but have been showing more promise at home.
“We have a couple more home games coming up and we have to take advantage of that,” Villanueva said.
Ironically, Villanueva has been finding a strong court partnership with Rodney Stuckey who also struggled in shooting earlier this season.
“I think it fits well because of what Rodney brings to the team as far as driving and all that he commands,” Villanueva said. “Then you have me on the pick-and-pop. I think it’s good. We need to keep building on that.”