When Pistons general manager Joe Dumars traded Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson's expiring contract in 2008, the cap space it later created was ultimately used on the free agent signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon during the summer of 2009. At the time, Villanueva agreed to an offer worth $35MM over five seasons, while Gordon signed on for $55MM over five seasons. Unfortunately, Villanueva's scoring averages and minutes dipped every season since then, whereas Gordon struggled to consistently regain the form that had made him an enticing commodity in Chicago and was later traded to Charlotte. Now set to be equipped with significant cap room this offseason, Dumars implied that he'll be very conscientious about what he'll do with the flexibility:
"What we don’t want to do is use all of it for the sake of it. You want to use it wisely" (Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News relayed the quote via tweet).
Here's more from around the Association:
- Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press hears that the Knicks and Lakers have expressed interest in Pistons free agent point guard Will Bynum (Twitter link).
- Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York reports that Marcus Camby has no plans of retiring and is currently preparing to return next season with a bigger role in the Knicks' rotation.
- While the Celtics ponder over whether or not to pick up the last year of Paul Pierce's deal or buy him out for $5MM, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News heard from one Eastern Conference GM that people in Pierce's camp are readying themselves for free agency. Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus has heard rumblings that if the veteran forward is let out of his contract with Boston, he'd have interest in joining the Clippers (Twitter link).
- Warriors center Festus Ezeli underwent successful surgery yesterday to reinforce the MCL and PCL in his right knee, as per the team's official website. The timetable for recovery is expected to be a minimum of six to nine months. With Ezeli out, Andrew Bogut plagued by injuries, and Andris Biedrins seemingly lost in the fold, Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area tweets that Golden State is clearly in the market for a big man.
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.net tweets that former 2011 second round pick Davis Bertans (whose draft rights are currently owned by the Spurs) suffered a torn ACL but should be able to return later this year. The 6'10 forward is in the second of a three-and-a-half year deal with KK Partizan of the Serbian League.