Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders has the latest on Monroe’s potential suitors:
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports the latest on the Pistons’ push to keep the talented big man:
Stein also reports on another team who has interest:
Updates from Monday, June 30
Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports the Pistons have made a qualifying offer to Greg Monroe:
A Western Conference team is also interested in Monroe according to ESPN’s Marc Stein:
Greg Monroe is coming off another productive season with the Detroit Pistons. The arrival of Stan Van Gundy could mean his days with the organization are beginning to dwindle, however.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports sources around the league agree that the Pistons’ new head coach and president of basketball operations will seek ways to move Monroe. He will then rebuild the franchise around Andre Drummond.
A rival general manager explained the situation that led Van Gundy to accept the Detroit job over the Golden State Warriors:
There are two things that made that job better for Stan. One is the fact that he gets to make personnel decisions, that is a big deal of course. But the other is Andre Drummond. If you want to build your team around a young player, Drummond is the guy.
You’re not going to build around both him and Monroe, they had too much trouble making that work. You pick Drummond and move on from Monroe.
Monroe is slated to become a restricted free agent this offseason. If the Pistons do want to move forward without him, the biggest key is figuring out a way to work out a deal. They don’t get caught choosing between taking on a massive contract or letting him walk away for nothing.
The report states the Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Lakers are two teams that executives around the league mentioned with the potential to offer him a max contract. The New Orleans Pelicans were mentioned as a possible sign-and-trade partner.
Last month, Monroe was asked about whether he believed the Pistons had good locker-room chemistry during their lackluster regular season. David Mayo of MLive.com passed along his response, which spoke volumes despite being extremely brief:
“Honestly, I would say no,” he answered.
Pressed for what the problem was, Monroe retreated.
“I will answer the question,” he said, “but I wouldn’t go further than that.”
Monroe finished the season averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per game while shooting a shade under 50 percent from the field. His success at the offensive end paired with a willingness to battle for boards is a coveted commodity around the league with a lack of reliable big men.
What should the Pistons do with Monroe?
His defensive ability doesn’t live up to the same standard, however. That’s one of the main reasons he’s likely to move if Van Gundy is planning to reshape the roster around one interior player. Drummond is the better all-around rising star.
Make no mistake, Monroe is still a valuable asset and the Pistons can’t afford to let a player of his caliber get away without getting some type of return. Finding out what options they have on the table is one of the biggest tasks for Van Gundy in the coming weeks.
Monroe would fit in well with any up-tempo team, where his offensive skills could shine while also taking pressure off him at the defensive end. But the fact three teams are already being rumored as potential landing spots shows there should be a strong market.
That’s good news for both Monroe and the Pistons, who are apparently ready to move in another direction.