Ben Gordon was supposed to be a key part in the rebuilding of the Detroit Pistons.
Three years later, his departure is going to be a piece of the next attempt.
Gordon and Charlie Villanueva were signed in the summer of 2010 with the cap space gained by trading Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. The move was a disaster, with Gordon and Villanueva quickly turning into reserves who filled up a large chunk of Detroit’s salary cap.
Tuesday, the Pistons traded Gordon, the last two years of his contract and a lottery-protected first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Corey Maggette.
The pick Detroit traded is protected throughout the lottery in 2013,
through the top eight picks in 2014 and for the top pick in 2015. It
becomes unprotected in 2016.
Maggette, who will turn 33 shortly after the start of the season, is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. Playing for the horrendous Bobcats, he shot a career-low 37 percent from the floor while averaging 15 points a game.
Most importantly, Maggette’s $10.9 million contract expires at the end of next season, which will enable the Pistons to use him as trade bait or turn him into cap space for the summer of 2013. Gordon is owed $25.6 million over the next two seasons, so the deal saves the Pistons around $15 million.
“We welcome Corey Maggette to our organization in a transaction that provides us with a veteran scorer and defender in addition to increased roster flexibility moving forward,” said Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations. “We thank Ben Gordon for his commitment to our organization over the last three years and wish him the best in the future.”
Gordon came to the Pistons with the promise of pure offense, but that never happened. His scoring, which had been over 20 points a game in his final three seasons in Chicago, dropped to just 12 points per game with the Pistons.