Tag:Charlie Villanueva
Posted on: November 3, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Garnett denies calling Villanueva cancer patient

Kevin Garnett on Wednesday denied calling Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva "a cancer patient" in a trash-talking rant during the teams' game the night before.

“I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night," Garnett said in a statement from his representatives released by the Celtics. "My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact, ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league.’ I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball.”

After the Celtics beat the Pistons 109-86 Tuesday night, dropping Detroit to 0-4 and sending the team into turmoil, Villanueva wrote on his Twitter account that Garnett had called him a "cancer patient" during a trash-talking rant. Villanueva has no body hair due to a rare autoimmune disorder known as alopecea areata.

"KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him," Charlie V tweeted. "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke. I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those."

Moments after Garnett's statement was released Wednesday, Villanueva wrote on Twitter, "
New day, moving forward, Pistons lets get a win tonight." But before the Pistons played the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night, Villanueva was asked about Garnett's denial.

"I know exactly what I heard," Villanueva said, according to the Detroit Free-Press .

Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:26 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 1:00 am
 

Pistons agree with Gordon, Villanueva (UPDATE)

The Detroit Pistons struck first Wednesday, getting commitments from their top two free-agent targets, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

Gordon agreed to a five-year, $55 million deal, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Villanueva also agreed to a five-year deal in the $35 million range -- or slightly above the anticipated mid-level exception of $5.6 million per year -- a person involved in those discussions said. The exact figures won't be known until the deals are signed on July 8, after the league and players association agree on the salary cap and luxury tax for the 2009-10 season.

After firing coach Michael Curry Tuesday, Pistons president Joe Dumars acted swiftly in targeting Gordon and Villanueva with the salary-cap space produced by the controversial decision to trade Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson and his $22 million expiring contract last November. But the signings posed two potential problems: 1) There isn't enough room in the same backcourt for Gordon, Richard Hamilton, and Rodney Stuckey; and 2) The Pistons will no longer be major players in the much better free-agent summer of 2010.

Not able to afford another miserable season for the mere chance that a big-ticket free agent would come to Detroit in '10, Dumars decided to strike now. The Pistons were among only a handful of teams with significant cap space this summer, and thus could dictate which players they pursued. Next summer, they might've ended up on the periphery of the excitement when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and others were looking for not only money, but also a championship-ready roster to join.

The Pistons don't have a championship roster, but they did have money. As a buyer in a seller's market, Dumars obviously felt the time to act was this summer, not next.

The backcourt logjam lends credence to the idea that Dumars isn't finished shuffling the deck this summer. Some league executives have speculated that once Dumars landed Gordon, a prolific scorer who doesn't do much else, he would begin exploring trade possibilities for Hamilton. That's somewhat ironic, given that Hamilton's contentious relationship with Curry led, in part, to the coach being fired after only one season. Hamilton has four years and nearly $50 million left on the extension he signed shortly before Billups was shipped to Denver and the demolition of the Pistons began. Moving Hamilton would give Dumars a Gordon-Stuckey backcourt, which presumably either Doug Collins or Avery Johnson -- the two front-runners to succeed Curry -- would find intriguing.

UPDATE: As he did with the Sixers' job earlier in the offseason, Collins has pulled his name out of consideration for the Pistons job, according to a person familiar with the situation. Johnson now has an unobstructed path to the job.

 


 

Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 2:20 am
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

You want buzz? How's Ron Artest playing on the same team with LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs -- and LeBron himself -- are recruiting Artest to form a new Big Three in Cleveland that would be entertaining, potentially combustible, and perhaps even really, really good. The possibilities are endless -- great quotes, controversies, Artest advocating for LeBron in the LeBron-Kobe debate. Maybe even a championship.

Artest has been fielding offers from several teams, but so far the most impressive has to be Cleveland's courtship, which included LeBron making an in-person pitch recently when both players were in Los Angeles for events. This could develop quickly; a person close to Artest indicated that the small forward was expecting to start sorting through offers as early as Wednesday night.

By joining the Rockets last season and not making any waves -- not to mention his mostly effective contributions in the playoffs -- Artest earned himself one more free-agent score. And the value won't necessarily be measured in dollars, but in the opportunity to win a championship. For that reason, and in order to repay the Rockets for taking a chance on him, Artest had been leaning toward returning to Houston. But the possibility that Yao Ming could miss the entire 2009-10 season has changed everything.

Artest made several conspicuous appearances at Lakers home games during the Finals, and L.A. could be a formidable competitor for Artest's services -- especially if the Lakers lose either Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza, both unrestricted free agents.

The most the Cavs can offer is the mid-level exception of about $5.6 million, and Artest figures to do better elsewhere -- in terms of dollars but not opportunity. At various times during the past two years as he approached free agency, Artest repeatedly said he wasn't looking for one more pay day, but rather for the chance to win a championship. The opportunity has arrived.

Here's more free-agent buzz from conversations with executives, agents, and others in the know:

* After CBSSports.com reported early Wednesday that the Trail Blazers were aggressively pursuing Hedo Turkoglu, the free-agent forward will receive a visit from Portland coach Nate McMillan Wednesday night in Orlando. Turkoglu is expected to accept the team's invitation to tour Portland and the Blazers' facilities on Thursday. An offer -- believed to be a five-year deal in the $50 million range -- is expected to be extended at that time. As many as five teams have inquired about Turkoglu -- some with cap room, some without, according to agent Lon Babby. One of them is not the Detroit Pistons, who have focused their attention on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

UPDATE: The Raptors are debating whether to make a pre-emptive offer to Turkoglu that would top Portland's, but that would require renouncing the rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker. Another option is to keep those players and sign a mid-level free agent. If the Raptors decide to go for a bigger name, Turkoglu isn't the only one they're considering. They also have interest in Knicks restricted free agent David Lee.

* The Knicks rolled out the red carpet for Jason Kidd at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, but the Mavericks still have the advantage in their efforts to retain the future Hall of Fame point guard. A person familiar with the talks said there are strong indications that Mavs owner Mark Cuban is willing to offer Kidd a three-year deal, which is well beyond what the Knicks are prepared to offer.

* Suns free agent Grant Hill received an in-person pitch from Steve Kerr in Orlando after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and has been invited to visit the Knicks next week. The Celtics, who are heavily recruiting Rasheed Wallace, also have expressed interest in Hill.

* If Trevor Ariza feels slighted that all the Lakers can offer him is the mid-level exception, it's not clear where he's going to do better than that on the open market. One rival executive believes the Lakers have prioritized Ariza over their other unrestricted free agent, Lamar Odom, and several sources believe they still have a chance to retain both. The Spurs have expressed interest in Odom, as well as Marcin Gortat (courted by the Rockets), and Antonio McDyess.



 

Posted on: July 1, 2009 5:08 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2009 6:46 pm
 

Filling the Boozer void (UPDATE)

With Carlos Boozer off the free-agent market, other free agent forwards are getting ready to cash in.

While Charlie Villanueva was being courted by the Pistons, CBSSports.com has learned that restricted free agents David Lee and Paul Millsap were preparing to field offers as early as Wednesday night. Millsap, the Jazz forward who could benefit the most from Boozer deciding not to opt out of his contract, has heard from three of the four teams with significant cap space -- Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Detroit -- plus a fourth team inquiring about a sign-and-trade. Lee has heard from numerous teams, including Oklahoma City and Memphis, and was expecting inquiries to escalate into offers in the next 24 hours. Despite their focus on Wednesday's meeting at Madison Square Garden with point guard Jason Kidd, the Knicks were among the first teams to reach out to Lee's camp and expressed an interest in keeping him.

While Villanueva was seen as a strong possibility for Cleveland, which may need to replace free agent Anderson Varejao, people in contact with the Cavs' front office say Cleveland is in wait-and-see mode and appears to be strategizing for the second wave of free-agent activity.

UPDATE: OK, the wait's over. Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs -- and LeBron James himself -- are actively recruiting Ron Artest. There will be more developing on this front throughout the evening.

Rasheed Wallace got a visit from Celtics president Danny Ainge at his home shortly after midnight Wednesday and was getting interest from other contenders.

Like Artest (whose situation isn't directly affected by Boozer's), Lamar Odom (whose situation is) also was preparing to field offers Wednesday. The Suns and Spurs reportedly were among the teams courting Odom, while the Lakers were actively working to keep both of their unrestricted free agents, Odom and small forward Trevor Ariza.

 
Posted on: July 1, 2009 10:59 am
 

Pistons target Gordon, Villanueva

Eager to transform malaise from the salary-cap clearing Chauncey Billups trade into a new beginning, the Pistons believe they can land both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva and are making their pitch on the first day of free agency, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com.

It is widely expected that Pistons president Joe Dumars will land Gordon, a pure scorer who is eager to get out of Chicago and will have no problem getting paid by the team with the most money to offer. One person familiar with Villanueva's situation said the Pistons believe they can get him with an offer a little north of the approximately $5.6 million mid-level exception. Cleveland also has interest in Villanueva, who became an unrestricted free agent when the Bucks decided not to give him a qualifying offer. But while the decision freed Villanueva from the Bucks' matching rights, it also stripped him of his Bird free-agent rights. Short of a sign-and-trade -- which is unlikely -- Villanueva will have trouble getting more than the mid-level from a team other than the Pistons, given the dearth of teams with available cap space.

The Pistons also are in the early stages of a search to replaced coach Michael Curry, who was abruptly fired Tuesday. TNT analyst Doug Collins and former Mavs coach Avery Johnson have emerged as the favorites, with a high-level coaching source telling CBSSports.com that it is Collins' job to lose. Detroit owes Curry $5 million over the next two seasons, making Johnson an attractive option, in part, because he is still owed money by the Mavs and thus would come at a discount.

Posted on: June 29, 2009 6:18 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2009 11:32 pm
 

Villanueva: Cavs' missing piece? (UPDATE)

With the stunning news that the Milwaukee Bucks decided Monday not to make a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva came confirmation of what we already knew: This is going to be a strange free-agent signing period in the NBA, one in which conventional wisdom need not apply.

By dumping Richard Jefferson on the Spurs, the Bucks seemed to be clearing cap space to keep restricted free agents Ramon Sessions and Villanueva. But Sessions got a qualifying offer and Villanueva didn't, making him an unrestricted free agent at midnight Wednesday.

In a league that is increasingly becoming about the haves and have-nots, one team's problem is another team's savior. Fresh off their pre-draft acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal, the Cavs are looking for a versatile big man to complement the Big Cuyahoga while at the same time not clogging the floor for LeBron James. Enter Villanueva, who would appear to be an ideal piece for GM Danny Ferry's plan of making a serious championship run this season.

When the Cavs acquired Shaq, Villanueva wrote the following on his Twitter account: "Very interesting, Shaq to Cleveland, nice, all Cleveland [needs] is a PF now."

Also in that mix is Pistons unrestricted Rasheed Wallace, who could be an attractive option for Cleveland and Orlando, among others.

The problem is, the best the Cavs could offer Villanueva is the mid-level exception of about $5.5 million. Short of that, a sign-and-trade would work, but the Cavs divested themselves of their two most tradable assets -- Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic -- in the Shaq trade. The Villanueva decision also has a direct impact on the Pistons, who are among the teams with the most money to spend on free agents. Joe Dumars is believed to be targeting Carlos Boozer and/or Hedo Turkoglu. But the availability of Villanueva makes his decision a lot more interesting.

UPDATE: The Bucks' thinking behind not extending a qualifying offer to Villanueva was discussed internally at least two dozen times, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The person, who is familiar with the team's strategy, said matching Villanueva's offers as a restricted free agent -- or possibly keeping him on the one-year tender for about $4.7 million -- would've rolled back the flexibility general manager John Hammond had just achieved by trading Jefferson, who was due $29.2 million over the next two seasons.

Whereas most observers -- including rival team executives -- believed the Jefferson trade opened the door for Milwaukee to re-sign both Villanueva and Sessions, there's a chance the team won't keep either one. The organization is determined to get out of the rut caused by overpaying the likes of Bobby Simmons, Charlie Bell, and Dan Gadzuric in similar situations in the past. If the offers received by Sessions on the restricted market are fair, Milwaukee will match. If not, the team is planning to hold the line on not overpaying.

Another factor with Villanueva is that, given the economy and dearth of teams with cap space to sign free agents, the organization believes it is feasible that Villanueva won't be blown away by free-agent offers and thus would have been inclined to accept the one-year offer for $4.7 million. The Bucks didn't want to be in a position of having to rescind the non-binding qualifying offer, which would've hampered Villanueva's efforts to land a free-agent deal. Having chosen to get their financial house in order and preserve the possibility of being as much as $7 million under the cap in 2010, the Bucks' hierarchy felt it was better to be up front with Villanueva and allow him unfettered access to the free-agent market. Although a sign-and-trade technically remains an option, the Bucks aren't interested in jeopardizing their roster and cap flexibility by taking on the kind of contracts that would come back in such a deal.

___

Clearing up one piece of draft business: While one of the many executives who spoke with the Nets on draft night came away convinced that the team had selected Terrence Williams for someone else with the No. 11 pick, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday that T-Will is most likely to stay in New Jersey. On the heels of trading Vince Carter in the hours before the draft, the Nets had conversations with numerous teams involving, among other things, the No. 11 pick. Nothing came to fruition, and while the Nets are still listening, it appears that Williams is staying put for now.


Posted on: March 17, 2009 6:32 pm
 

Twitter-gate

I used to be very old fashioned. There was a time when I would've had the same reaction Scott Skiles did when he learned that Charlie Villanueva was tweeting at halftime of a game.

There was a time -- oh, about 17 days ago -- when my reaction would've been, "What's tweeting?" Now, I say to myself as I read Skiles' comments condemning this transgression, "What's the big deal?"

Skiles said Villanueva sneaking a tweet at halftime would lead "reasonable people" to conclude that he wasn't paying attention or focusing on the game.

Really? Since when do players pay attention at halftime? Aren't they all busy texting and emailing their friends? In any event, with his first full season three-fourths over, I would've guessed that Skiles' players tuned him out months ago. That's what happened to him in Chicago.

Anyway, technology is charging past me so fast that I sometimes formulate opinions I can't believe. A purist would say that players shouldn't be messing around with Twitter at halftime. They should be paying attention to the coach. But that's boring. Plus, today's players are fully capable of paying attention to the coach and texting at the same time. Today's players are multi-taskers, baby!

It's a losing battle for any coach who wants to curtail his players' texting, emailing and the like. And an impossible one to win. If Villanueva can't post on Twitter at halftime, what about all his teammates who were texting their friends, wives, and um, girlfriends?

Now you have to draw the line somewhere, and here's where I draw it: During the All-Star Game, Chris Bosh was conspicuously and constantly texting and emailing throughout the game on the East's bench. It didn't matter that he was injured and wearing a suit. That's just wrong. When you are in public view on the court, your cell phone stays in your pocket. That's just the way it is.

But what do we make of this? During halftime of the Bucks' victory over Boston Sunday, Villanueva grabbed his PDA and transmitted the following to his Twitter feed:

In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.

Now, if there are Pulitzers for Tweeting, I think it's safe to say the other finalists are safe. But at least he did step up and deliver a team-high 19 points as the Bucks beat the listless Celtcs 86-77.

"I was very into the game -- as you can tell, the way I played," Villanueva said.

Twitter -- and much worse things that haven't been invented yet -- may very well succeed in bringing Western civilization to its knees. Until then, I don't see much wrong with tweeting a couple of thoughts at halftime. Just make it better next time.

In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. Close game at da half. I'm about to light up Pierce for 40. No way that stiff can guard me. 

Then we'd have something to tweet about.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com