Considering Villanueva is earning $8 million this season for the pact he signed in 2009, the Pistons badly want to get their money’s worth.
Villanueva has just never quite fit in with the Pistons as a player on a consistent basis. There were hopes he could continue to be a force inside for the NBA after six preseason games. Villanueva was averaging 14.7 minutes, 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Last season, Villanueva averaged 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds a game.
If he can get those numbers up during the regular season, Villanueva could have a positive force on the team from off the bench. He has shown signs in the past of being explosive. He just needs to do it on a consistent presence to give the Pistons a chance to win every game. If he can do so, the Pistons will benefit greatly while their first unit big guys, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, get a breather.
Villanueva needs to put in a full 82-game schedule if he can be as healthy as he’s ever been in his career. He left a game earlier this week with a sore back and did not return. He can’t afford to have too many sore backs during an $8 million season.
Having another big man inside is a plus for the Pistons who could see Villanueva occasionally have an impact on any success the team might have.
It probably won’t happen often and it’s likely that Villanueva’s contributions will not be worth $8 million. But it certainly will be better than nothing.