Earlier this summer we noted some trade talk circling Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, who struggled for much of last season.
Villanueva wasn’t traded, however, and is now in a competition for playing time at the forward position for the Pistons. He tells the Detroit News that injuries contributed to his poor play last year and that he is ready to go this season after talking with Pistons President Joe Dumars.
“Joe always talks to me,” Villanueva said. “He knew my situation, that I wasn’t healthy. They made a commitment to me, so I’m going to be here for the long run. I could’ve been on vacation all summer, sipping lemonade.”
With training camp looming, Villanueva hopes to be the starting power forward on opening night. He’ll have to beat out, and even more so outwork, Jerebko and rookie Greg Monroe. It’s unlikely Kuester will alter his standards, so Villanueva will have to turn some heads.
“I love the challenge,” he said. “All my life has been a challenge. It’s gonna be interesting. You have 11 or 12 guys that can play. Let the best man get the spot.”
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