Pistons Sign Free Agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Pistons announced today the signing of free agent guard Ben Gordon and free agent forward Charlie Villanueva.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/David Sherman (NBAE/Getty)
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent guard Ben Gordon and free agent forward Charlie Villanueva to multi-year contracts. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

“We are excited to add two talented players in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva,” said Dumars. “Ben is a big-time scorer who will play a prominent role for our team as we move forward. Charlie is a versatile big man who can play in the post and score from the perimeter as well. We feel both these players will be key pieces to our roster next season.”

Gordon, 26, has appeared in 398 career NBA games (204 starts) averaging 18.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 31.4 minutes per game. Since joining the league as Chicago’s third overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he has scored 20-plus points in 78 games coming off the bench, by far the most by any player during the five-year span. Gordon was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year during the 2004-05 campaign, becoming the first rookie in league history to claim the award. He has averaged 20-plus points in a season twice, including a team-high 20.7 points per game last season in which he shot a career-high 45.5% from the field and 41.0% from three-point range. Gordon averaged 24.3 points and 3.0 assists per game during the seven-game game series vs. Boston in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Playing in all 82 games for the third time in his career a season ago, the London, England native ranked sixth in the league with 173 three-point field goals made and 11th in total points (1,699). He also ranked 17th in the league in scoring average (20.7 ppg), 24th in free throw percentage (.864), 25th in three-point field goal percentage (.410) and 31st in minutes (36.6 mpg). A member of the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 2005, Gordon has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week four times in his five-year career.

Villanueva, 24, is coming off a career year for the Milwaukee Bucks in which he averaged career-highs in points (16.2 ppg), rebounds (6.7 rpg), assists (1.8 apg), three-point field goal percentage (.345) and free throw percentage (.838). He scored 30-plus points on four occasions, including a season-high 36 points vs. Denver (2/22), 20-plus points 27 times and tallied 14 double-doubles. The 6-foot-11 forward led the Bucks in scoring 19 times, rebounding a team-best 27 times and blocks a team-high 32 times. Drafted seventh overall by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Villanueva has career NBA averages of 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 26.5 minutes per game. As a rookie, he scored 48 points at Milwaukee (3/26/06), the most since 1997 [Allen Iverson, 50 at Cleveland (4/12/97)] and tied for the third-highest total since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77 (Michael Jordan). The Queens, NY native averaged 13.0 points per game during his rookie campaign with Toronto which earned him NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in 2006. As a collegiate player at Connecticut, Villanueva was a member of the Huskies’ 2004 NCAA Championship team with fellow UConn teammate – Ben Gordon.

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