Sunday, March 31, 2013
Will Pistons amnesty Charlie V?
By Tom Carpenter
The Detroit Pistons will have some critical decisions to make this offseason, including how to secure unrestricted free agent Jose Calderon, which player they will draft (presumably high in the lottery) and what to do with Charlie Villanueva's dead weight of a contract. Assuming that Charlie V activates his player option for next season (a safe assumption), he'll be on the books for $8.5 million, though the Pistons have the option to amnesty his contract. However, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com thinks the Pistons probably won't use their amnesty option on Villanueva.
"On the one hand, the Pistons could create another $8.5 million in cap space by exercising that option. On the other, they’d be paying Villanueva to play for another team and, no doubt, looking to sign another player who fits his description – a power forward who represents a 3-point threat," he wrote. "Given the importance of Andre Drummond to the future of the Pistons, they are likely to be looking for shooting at several positions to put around him.
"If I had to guess today which way the Pistons go with that choice, I doubt they use it. I think it’s fair to guess that right now, that’s a decision even the Pistons haven’t come close to making. Once the season is over and they start shaping a strategy for how to use their cap space, and at the same time getting a better idea of what the market might deliver, the decision will come into focus for them."
The Pistons have positioned themselves to have a decent amount of cap space, but since they are so young and not very competitive, it's hard to believe that they can use that cap room to lure high-end free agents to The D. With that in mind, they may be better off waiting out his contract and focusing on bigger FAs the following summer when the team presumably would be a friendlier landing spot for a free-agent swingman or guard.