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Pistons Monroe brushes off trade rumors, says he doesn’t want change

Jul 24, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT

Greg Monroe AP

It’s going to be an interesting season in Detroit.

Bringing in Josh Smith is a talent upgrade for the Pistons, a big one and an expensive one (four years, $56 million). But it’s also one that makes for some interesting matchups for new coach Mo Cheeks to deal with — Andre Drummond is the center of the future, Greg Monroe was the power forward of the future, and that means Smith is the three. But Smith shot 72 percent inside the restricted area last season, 32 percent in the rest of the paint, 30.5 percent from the midrange and 30 percent from three.

The Pistons now have three guys who need to work close to the rim to be efficient, which is going to get crowded and interesting.

Which is why there have been some Monroe trade rumors (possibly in a Rajon Rondo deal) — GM Joe Dumars said only Smith and Drummond are untouchables on the team. But speaking with Ben Goliver of Sports Illustrated Monroe brushed those aside.

“I have a very close relationship, as do most players who play for the Pistons, with the front office,” Monroe said. “They communicate with us very well. … There’s always going to be speculation, people are going to make up stuff, they’re going to hear stuff, they’re going to write it. I don’t worry about it. I’m very happy being a Piston and I hope they’re very happy with me. As far as I know, they like me….

“I think neither of us want a change,” Monroe said of his standing with the Pistons. “People are going to write stuff. I just laugh at it most of the time, because it’s foolish. That’s how people get paid nowadays. Guys like us have to live with it because we can’t comment on it. It’s going to happen. As long as I know the truth, I’m fine with it.”

If the Pistons can make this front line work it will cause problems for other teams because in an NBA where the trend has been to go small the Pistons are going big. Going against the grain can work.

If not, if the paint is just crowded and you can defend the Pistons by packing in the defense on them and getting Smith to shoot more jumpers, then those trade rumors are really going to heat up.

  1. yousername1512 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    “If the Pistons can make this front line work it will cause problems for other teams because in an NBA where the trend has been to go small the Pistons are going big. Going against the grain can work.”

    That’s exactly what Isaiah Thomas thought when he paired Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry on the Knicks.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Except for the part where only one of them was talented.

      I guess you’re just going to ignore the Lakers winning back to back championships with a frontline of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom?

      • tk41 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        But those guys were each 2 way players that could guard their position (Bynum @ 5, Gasol @ 4 & Odom &3 – but could defend the 4 in a pinch).
        Pistons have Drummond @ 5, Smith who can be an offensive 3/4 – defensive 4 & Drummond who is a 4 but can’t defend anyone.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        @tk,

        Odom barely ever played small forward during that run. It actually disappointed me because I thought he could play smaller and give the lakers a huge size advantage, but it never happened. The lakers is actually a great comparison because Drummond and bynum only play center, monroe and pau can play both, and smith and odom usually will play pf but can also play sf if needed.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        Odom did not play SF very much if at all. He had a disasterous run at SF under Rudy Tomjanovich and very briefly at the beginning of Phil’s second tenure. But he was playing PF most of the championship run. It allowed Phil to keep at least one of Bynum or Pau on the court at all times. In fact, Odom/Gasol was the Lakers most successful frontcourt for most of the championship run.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        And the Spurs dominating with Duncan and Robinson who couldn’t have been more of a mismatch… both playing center and preferring to operate in the paint. I don’t think the Pistons have as good of a combination as the Lakers had though. None of the pistons guys can shoot effectively outside the paint.

      • spursareold - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Sigh…

        Lakers: Odom and Gasol both had jumpers to space the floor.
        Spurs: Both Robinson and Duncan had jumpers out to 17-18 feet.

        It’s not about two big guys being a problem. It’s about 2 big guys without a shred of a jumper being a problem.

    • tk41 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      No need to hate on this comment, because its actually true. Simmons detailed it ad nauseum in his book of basketball. The thought behind it is logical, but the execution was very poor because – well, Isiah Thomas.

      Mo Cheeks is a good coach & the Pistons have a lot of talent – but the pieces don’t appear to compliment each other very well at this point.

      The Pistons will have some severe offensive spacing issues on the floor because of J-Smoove’s inability to hit a jump shot (30%). They’ll also have some huge defensive problems because Smith has struggled against stretch wings and Monroe rated as one of the worst pick & roll defenders in bball last year.

  2. themike31 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I don’t get why they would value Smith over Monroe in anything other than the “shiny new toy” category. Trading Monroe can only end in regret.

  3. aboogy123456 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Monroe can play both PF and Center, Smith can play both SF and PF. Given their versatility, it will be easy to get both of these guys more than 30 minutes a night, and cause matchup problems for opposing teams. I think the smith signing is a great fit for them.

    • remmsterr - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Smith can’t play SF; why do you think he played PF and Al played Center in Atlanta?

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        He’s better and more efficient as a PF but he still CAN play SF. There’s a saying in the NBA that you are who you can guard, and Smith can shut down opposing SFs. Yes he’s inefficient from the outside but if he’s wide open he can at least hit some of those shots.

        And why does he have to play SF to get minutes? I’m a lakers fan and I saw them win 2 championships by rotating Bynum, Gasol, and Odom, at the 4,5 spot, and I think Detroit could do the same thing. I also believe that Drummond will be a star, but he still needs time to develop into a 35 mpg player. He averaged 5.6 fouls per 48 minutes last year, so Smith and Monroe will get their minutes.

      • dabceb - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Smith wanted to play SF, like Horford wanted to be a PF. Both always grumbled about playing other positions.

        Smith always felt that he could’ve done what Marvin Williams was doing. After Williams left, he wanted to play SF even more.

    • spursareold - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Monroe can play PF, without a jumper…not.

  4. onlyavoice - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    “As long as I know the truth, I’m fine with it”.
    Does He Mean Paul Pierce, The Truth.

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