Dave Feschuk: Goodbye Charlie V.

In their quest for a real point guard to get Chris Bosh and the gang the ball, why was Charlie Villanueva the expendable piece? He is 6-11. He was second in rookie-of-the-year voting. He can score over or around just about anyone.

Toronto Sun Star columnist Dave Feschuk offers his reasons:

It's true that Villanueva is both a hard-to-guard scorer and a 6-foot-11 specimen, a rare combination. Yes, he overcame an ugly draft-night reception a year ago to have some great games — including a 48-point outburst in a loss to the Bucks — and he finished second in rookie-of-the-year voting. But Villanueva hasn't exactly proven the scouting report wrong. He did disappear for long stretches, just as the college watchers said he would. When it came to defending, he seemed to disdain the prospect of sweating without statistical return.

That's not to say he's not going to improve. But with Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa on the way to town and centre Rasho Nesterovic already here, the frontcourt is getting crowded. And it's important to remember that Villanueva arrived in what he called the best shape of his career and still sported a body soft enough to make the press corps feel slightly less self-conscious about their spare rubber. So while Ford is a risk — while a spinal cord injury kept him out of the entire 2004-05 season recovering from surgery — even more risky was the possibility that Villanueva, who needed constant butt-kickings from the coaching staff last season, could see his career flat-line or regress.