Villanueva could make Mavs roster

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Dallas Mavericks signed Charlie Villanueva to a contract this off-season, a non-guaranteed contract. The Mavs currently have 15 players with guaranteed contracts so there is no guarantee Charlie makes the team. An ESPN Dallas report says that Charlie has performed well enough so far in camp that he could indeed make the roster.

Villanueva, the nine-year NBA veteran whose once promising career fizzled the last few seasons with the Detroit Pistons, has a legitimate shot. That’s in large part because of Villanueva’s long-distance shooting range.

“You’ve got to guard Charlie when he walks in the tunnel,” coach Rick Carlisle said, right after Villanueva knocked down 22 of 25 3-point attempts in a post-practice shooting drill. “He can flip in shots from 35 feet. He’s one of those guys with uncommon range and quickness of release.”

The Mavs could use a 6-foot-10 stretch power forward coming off the bench. They thought they signed that guy in Rashard Lewis before his contract was voided following the discovery that knee surgery was necessary. (ESPN Dallas)

Charlie’s always had the talent and performed well earlier in his career. The problems for him started when his health turned. He’s missed way too many games over the past few years and couldn’t perform at his former level when on the court.

If he proves to be healthy he could be a HUGE asset for the Mavs. He could really open the floor up for the other guys, mainly Dirk Nowitzki. A guy who likes having Charlie in camp but isn’t sure if he could get past the numbers game to make the team.

“I’ve always liked his game,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “I always have. He’s got one of the quickest triggers we’ve got in this league. The first couple of days, he’s been shooting it really, really well. The challenge for him is to do some other stuff. We all know that he can shoot.

“But he looks fired up. He looks in great shape. He’s actually sneaky athletic. He’s faster than you think. He jumps higher than you think. I like him as a player, but it’s going to be tough. There’s only 15 spots and we’ve got a lot of men.” (ESPN Dallas)

Back to that numbers game. The problem for Charlie again is that the Mavs have 15 players signed to guaranteed contracts. In most cases it’s very unlikely for a team to release a player with a guaranteed contract and pay him not to play. Villanueva’s got the talent though to where that could change especially when Mark Cuban is the owner.

“It’s going to come down to who plays the best, who fills needs,” Carlisle said. “And we’ll go from there. Mark’s the kind of owner, he’s not going to let a few dollars get in the way of keeping the right team together.”(ESPN Dallas)

The key for Villanueva is to dominate the preseason and we’ll see if he can, starting tonight.

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