Originally posted on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 6/11/13
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Detroit Pistons may consider using the NBA’s amnesty clause to rid themselves of Charlie Villanueva this offseason. SI.com’s Rob Mahoney lists Villanueva as one of his “Plausible Candidates” to be amnestied in the coming weeks, along with Metta World Peace, Joel Anthony, Drew Goodon, John Salmons, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza. Mahoney writes: Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons: Although his entire stint in Detroit has been a disappointment, Villanueva is coming off the worst single season of his NBA career. If the Pistons have any immediate plans for using their cap space (or even want to leave open the possibility of utilizing that space to facilitate a trade later in the season), they should least consider amnestying the single season of salary left on Villanueva’s deal. Somehow, Villanueva’s made it through the first four seasons of his balky five-year, nearly $38-million deal — perhaps Joe Dumars’ worst move as the Pistons’ President of Basketball Operations; he also signed Ben Gordon to a massive contract at the same time, though he at least was able to move Gordon in a trade last year. Villanueva averaged just 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 69 games last season, numbers buoyed by a couple of random spurts with extended playing time throughout the season. For the most part, he was relegated to the Pistons’ second unit (if that). It’s hard to see exactly where Villanueva would fit in with the Pistons for 2013-14, either. If Jason Maxiell departs in free agency, as expected, Villanueva could stick around as a backup power forward, though the Pistons are likely to address that position during free agency or through the draft. The Pistons are fairly well-stocked at small forward, with Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko and Khris Middleton already on the roster and several intriguing options for that spot possibly available at the No. 8 draft pick. The Pistons already have a substantial amount of cap space with which to work this offseason (more than $20 million). Axing Villanueva would put another $8 million on the table.
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