Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pistons Pull In UConn Pair

The Detroit Pistons have moved quickly, setting off the first fireworks in what's anticipated to be a sizzling July.

Sources confirmed the Pistons have agreed to terms with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

The Pistons captured the 2004 NBA championship with a gritty defensive prowess--one which neutralized a Western Conference all-star Lakers lineup--but the former UConn teammates provide an immense offensive punch.

"Former Bulls guard Gordon will receive a five-year, $55 million deal, while former Bucks forward Villanueva gets a five-year deal for $40 million," as was told to ESPN.com's Chris Boussard.

Gordon, a 6-foot-2 guard with a ratchet, averaged 20.4 points this season.

He shot the rock at a 45.5 percent clip, his scoring average hovering around 24 points in the playoffs. Gordon had his scoring outbursts during an epic, ziplock-tight first round loss against the Celtics, albeit his shooting was erratic.

Money earnin' Mount Vernon's illest had rifts with the Bulls over his contract.

Now the 26-year-old sparkplug is no longer this generation's face of the franchise. Gordon led the Bulls in scoring each of the last four seasons.

The presumable scenario is Gordon coming off the pine--as he's accustomed to doing--or piecing together a backcourt triumvirate.

The Pistons' moves come in the aftermath of the Michael Curry firing.

Avery Johnson, the smurf-sized former Mavs coach (remember Whoopi Goldberg told him "you not a player looking like a little roach" in the 1996 film, "Eddie?") could potentially supplant Curry.

Rasheed Wallace could possibly be on the menu.

Boston, Cleveland, and San Antonio are all potential suitors for Wallace, he of the ring and ill temper.

Villanueva averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 boards for Milwaukee last season, showing flashes of dominance.

Villanueva and Gordon led UConn to a 2004 national championship under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.

Both players hail from the New York landscape and enjoyed highly-decorated prep careers, Gordon at Mount Vernon High and Queens product Villanueva at Blair Academy in New Jersey.