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NBA Free Agents: Pistons' Charlie Villanueva will pick up player option

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Technically, Charlie Villanueva could have been a free agent this summer. Unsurprisingly, he will pick up his player option and will remain under contract through 2013-2014.

USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of NBA trade deadline buzz, Charlie Villanueva stealthily decided to pick up his player option, surprising no one. While any contract might seem like an overpayment given Charlie's performance in Detroit, he's actually having his best season in Detroit overall, and at times has seemed like a better fit next to the Pistons' prized rookie Andre Drummond than anyone else on the roster, including Greg Monroe.

For better or worse, Charlie picking up his option will keep him in the Red, White, and Pistons' Blue until he is amnestied this summer through the 2013-2014 season. Undoubtedly, this will cause more than a little consternation among Pistons fans... but I'm feeling optimistic at the moment (I blame Joe Dumars... what, what?).

So, I'll go out on a limb and say that if Charlie keeps up competent play, he may actually be an asset at next year's trade deadline should a team be looking to rent some outside shooting from a big man off the bench.

If you don't want to feel as optimistic as I am, I'll share this tidbit from our beloved Mike Payne: barring a major free agent acquisition this summer, Charlie Villanueva will be the highest-paid Piston come fall of 2013.