Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gordon and Villanueva to Detroit

DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons wanted to add talent and get younger this offseason. On the first day of free agency, Detroit did both. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva agreed in principle to five-year contracts with the Pistons, a person with the knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because NBA rules prohibit announcing deals with free agents until next week, said Gordon's contract is worth $50-plus million and Villanueva will make at least $35 million.

The 26-year-old Gordon averaged 20.7 points for the Chicago Bulls, leading them in scoring for the fourth straight year. He improved his market value by scoring 42 points in a playoff game against the defending champion Boston Celtics and averaging a team-high 24.3 points in seven postseason games.

Bulls officials had said re-signing Gordon, the No. 3 pick in 2004, was a top priority after previously failing to keep the former Connecticut star with a long-term contract. Villanueva, who turns 25 next month, averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for the Milwaukee Bucks. He went from being a restricted free agent to an unrestricted one when Milwaukee chose to not make him a qualifying offer.

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