Gordon picks Pistons
Villanueva also heads to Detroit
The Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle to contracts with free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.
The person spoke to the Associated Press last night on the condition of anonymity because NBA rules prohibit teams from announcing free agent signings until next week. Gordon and Villanueva are former University of Connecticut teammates.
Gordon, the third pick in the 2004 draft by the Chicago Bulls, agreed to a five-year deal for at least $50 million. He was the Bulls’ top scorer the past four years and became an unrestricted free agent after the season. Chicago officials had said bringing him back next year was a top priority.
The 26-year-old Gordon averaged 20.7 points during the regular season before scoring 24.3 points during the playoffs when the Bulls lost to the Celtics in seven games.
Villanueva, the seventh overall pick by Toronto in 2005 who has played the last three seasons with the Bucks, also agreed to a five-year deal. His contract is worth at least $35 million.
Villanueva averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for the Bucks.
The Pistons also don’t plan to wait long to name a replacement for fired coach Michael Curry.
Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations, doesn’t have a “complete list’’ of candidates but wants to act in less than a week, before Tuesday’s opening practice for the developmental league.
“My goal is to have a head coach in place by the time we go out to Las Vegas,’’ Dumars said. The NBA Summer League runs July 10-19.
Kidd and his agent met with Knicks president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks are interested in the point guard, but plan to be cautious in free agency because they want to save salary cap space for the summer of 2010.
The Mavericks also are interested in keeping Kidd.
The Knicks also have said they’d like to retain two of their own free agents, Lee and Robinson, if the prices are right.