Tenth in a series of 10 examining the likelihood of each of the pending free agents from the 2014-15 roster returning to the Dallas Mavericks.
2014-15 stats: 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 41.4 field goal percentage, 37.6 3-point percentage in 10.6 minutes per game
Charlie Villanueva earned a roster spot, a lot of respect and almost certainly an invitation to return to the Mavs after arriving in Dallas with nothing more firm than an invitation to training camp on a nonguaranteed contract.
But he didn’t earn a raise, at least not from the Mavs.
Charlie V., who created a niche as a 6-foot-11, green-lighted sharpshooter off the bench, would be welcomed back if he’s willing to play for the veteran’s minimum again. After working his way into the Mavs’ rotation last season, Villanueva would get a guaranteed deal, but Dallas can’t afford to spend more than the minimum on a ninth or 10th man.
"I would love to come back,” Villanueva said during his exit interview after the Mavs’ season ended. “It felt like this organization gave me an opportunity, gave me a chance, took a chance on me. I'm a loyal and I would love to be back, but that's not my decision. Hopefully management and my agent can work something out.”
Last season was a great individual success for Villanueva, whose tenure in Detroit was a major disappointment due to injuries and ineffectiveness, causing the former lottery pick to still be looking for a home well after the free agency frenzy last summer. He proved he could be a contributor on a playoff team, playing in the postseason for the first time in his 10-year career.
Villanueva found a comfort zone and certainly isn’t looking to leave.
“I like my role,” Villanueva said. “I embraced it, I accepted it. I've been in the league for 10 years and been coached by nine different coaches. I would love to experience the same coach again next year, but we'll see."