Charlie Villanueva‘s representatives have been exploring openings in China, a source told international journalist David Pick. (Twitter link).
With training camps opening later this month, that could signal an end to Villanueva’s NBA career. There hasn’t been any buzz about Villanueva drawing interest from NBA franchises in free agency this summer.
Villanueva, who turned 32 last month, got a chance to revive his career with the Mavericks after five disappointing seasons with the Pistons. He produced in his first season with Dallas in 2014/15, averaging 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 64 games. The very definition of a “stretch four,” the 6’11” Villanueva made 37.6% of this 3-point attempts that season.
That earned him another contract last summer, as the Mavs re-signed him for one year at the veteran’s minimum salary. While Villanueva played in nearly as many games (62), his shooting touch from long range betrayed him. He made just 27.3% of his 3-point attempts while averaging 5.1 points and 2.5 rebounds. The Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko opined after the Mavs’ season that Villanueva would have to find another home.
With Dirk Nowitzki back for at least one more season, Dwight Powell signing a four-year, $37.3MM contract and Quincy Acy receiving a partially guaranteed deal, Dallas had no need for another power forward.
Villanueva’s career went on the down slope after he averaged a career-best 16.2 points with the Bucks in 2008/09. He cashed in on that career year by signing a five-year, $40MM contract with Detroit but only started 27 games with that franchise and fell out of the rotation in two of the last three years there.
In 656 career games, Villanueva averaged 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 34.1% from long range. It’s fair to wonder now whether he’ll get another NBA opportunity or finish out his career overseas.