Signing Charlie Villanueva to a lucrative four-year contract four years ago will go down in Detroit Pistons‘ history as one of team president Joe Dumars‘ biggest mistakes.
But four years ago it seemed to make sense. Four years later, everyone can see why it was a disaster. The year before coming to Detroit, Villanueva had a solid season with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 26.9 minutes, 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor.
His first season with the Pistons gave warning signs that the Villanueva signing was going to be a disappointment. He averaged 23.7 minutes, 11.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
But those stats kept getting lower each season. He averaged 11.1 points his second season, 7.0 his third and 6.89 this past season. His rebounding average also went down to 3.9, 3.7 and 3.6 repectively in those three seasons.
Villanueva’s shooting also kept declining. This season, he shot 37.7 percent. He never was able to show the Pistons he was worth the huge contract he signed. At times, he showed brilliance. At other times, he was awful.
Last season, NBA players had the lockout and Villanueva sustained injuries that limited him to only 13 games. This past season, he did see action in 69 games with an average of 15.8 minutes per game.
Everything that could go wrong in Detroit did go wrong for Villanueva, who’s likely to look for a new team and take a lesser role along with a huge paycut. He wants to leave the bad memories of life in Detroit behind him. The Pistons want to do the same about life with Villanueva. It was a wasted four seasons for both sides.