Detroit Pistons: 7 biggest free-agent mistakes in team history
Ben Gordon: 5 years/$55 million
Charlie Villanueva: 5 years/$40 million
These two have to go together because they happened at the same time and essentially put the final nail in Joe Dumar’s coffin as President and GM of the Detroit Pistons. Both guys were good role players before they came to the Pistons, but as soon as they hit the free agent market Joe Dumars pounced, spending money like a drunkard on payday.
Like Reggie Jackson, Ben Gordon was a great role player for the Bulls, but he wasn’t getting paid like it once he signed with Detroit and was never the same guy. He was getting paid like a star guard but was mostly still coming off the bench for Detroit and barely averaged over double figures.
Charlie Villaneuva was even worse, though you could argue he’s the type of player who might actually be better now because of his size and ability to shoot. He played all five years of his contract and got worse in each one.
These signings are two of the primary reasons the Detroit Pistons stunk for so long and are the exact types of players Troy Weaver must avoid overpaying this offseason. They weren’t Joe Dumar’s biggest mistakes but they were close.