Sports News

Pistons begin rebuilding, sign Gordon and Villanueva

Chicago Bulls guard Ben Gordon waits on the court during the second half of Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Massachusetts May 2, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

DETROIT (Reuters) - The Detroit Pistons wasted little time in retooling their team for next season, agreeing terms with free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva on Wednesday the NBA franchise said on their website (

The NBA’s free-agent market opened on Wednesday, though players can not officially sign with new teams until July 8.

The Detroit Free Press reported Gordon’s five-year contract was worth $55 million, while Villanova signed a five-year, $35 million contract.

Gordon averaged 20.7 points per game last season with the Chicago Bulls, while Villanueva posted 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Pistons are in the middle of an overhaul that began early last season when they traded away point guard Chauncey Billups, a core member of the team’s 2004 NBA title winning team.

Detroit, who fired coach Michael Curry on Tuesday, are also expected to part with veteran free agents Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury