- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Villanueva will make the veteran’s minimum, sources told ESPN.com. His contract is fully guaranteed, unlike the deal he signed last season, when he earned a roster spot after receiving an invitation to Dallas’ training camp.
Villanueva confirmed the deal with Dallas in a blog post.
“It's only right,” Villanueva wrote. “Since Day 1 the organization has welcomed me and my family with open arms. I felt an immediate brotherhood with my teammates. I have nothing but respect for Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson. Those guys operate a first-class organization. They've been straight up with me and that's something that I value a lot ... communication. And Coach [Rick] Carlisle, what can I say about a man that wants to see the best in me and most importantly that BELIEVES in me. I thank you Coach. I don't see myself anywhere else. I love Dallas and I'm coming back.”
Villanueva, the seventh overall pick in the 2005 draft, resuscitated his career in a role as a sharpshooter off the Mavs’ bench last season, when he earned respect of coaches and teammates with his professionalism and constant upbeat attitude. He averaged 6.3 points in 10.6 minutes per game off the Dallas bench, shooting 37.6 percent from 3-point range.
The 6-foot-11 Villanueva had been a bust with the Detroit Pistons, who signed him to a five-year, $38 million deal after Villanueva averaged a career-best 16.2 points for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008-09. The Pistons didn’t come close to getting their money’s worth from Villanueva due to injuries and ineffectiveness.
The Mavs’ playoff appearance last season was the first in Villanueva’s 10-year career. His 594 games without a playoff appearance were the most among active NBA players.