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Report: Pistons not even considering trading Greg Monroe

Jan 10, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson, Greg Monroe

The Pistons have a big-man problem.

They have three good bigs – Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond – who start but have, so far, fit poorly together.

The problem isn’t a single one of them. Rather, it’s an issue of fit.

When all three play:

  • Offensive rating: 104.3
  • Defensive rating: 112.2
  • Net rating: –7.9

However, remove one from the lineup – doesn’t matter which one – and things suddenly look much better for Detroit.

Monroe and Drummond, not Smith:

  • Offensive rating: 113.6
  • Defensive rating: 109.4
  • Net rating: +4.2

Smith and Monroe, not Drummond:

  • Offensive rating: 106.9
  • Defensive rating: 100.5
  • Net rating: +6.4

Smith and Drummond, not Monroe:

  • Offensive rating: 111.6
  • Defensive rating: 105.2
  • Net rating: +6.4

(numbers via nbawowy)

What should the Pistons do about this?

Removing one of the three from the starting lineup could work, as could trading one for a more-traditional wing player.

Smith probably doesn’t have much trade value after signing a four-year, $54 million contract this summer. His production has slipped, and teams might not accept such a burdensome contract without attaching one of their own bad contracts in the deal.

Drummond is even more untradeable for the opposite reason. He’s too good for too cheap a salary to make a trade viable. It’s difficult to match salaries when most of the players whose value are as high as his are on max contracts and he’s still on his rookie deal.

That leaves Monroe, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Monroe is more likely than not to receive a max contract, so the Pistons should decide before the deadline whether he’s worth that. If not, they should trade him. That dealing him, both by omission and addition, would likely improve the frontline should move the needle toward a trade.

But the Pistons don’t see it that way.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

I can say with certainty there is no talk of trading Greg Monroe currently. Could that change? Sure, but right now the Pistons are going to be patient.

You can’t prove a negative, so it’s logically impossible for Ellis to say this with absolute certainty. He can know a trusted source in position to know told him as much, but that’s the limit.

But assuming Ellis is correct, the Pistons should get over it and stop being so stubborn.

They’re 14-22. If the season ended right now, not only would they miss the playoffs, they’d send their first-round pick to the Bobcats to complete the Ben Gordon trade. They’re facing disaster, and they won’t even entertain trading Monroe?

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I actually don’t think the Pistons should trade Monroe for a lesser and/or older wing player, the most likely return, even though that would likely improve the team this season.

I think it’s still possible, though unlikely, the three-big lineup works with more time. Most of all, I just think a young and productive big like Monroe is too valuable to trade for a  quick fix.

But to not explore a trade is choosing to limit your options for improving, and I don’t see the point of that.

  1. ryanrockzzz - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    I agree, i think the Pistons have put themselves in a bad spot. The signing of Smith makes no sense in hindsight for this team. He’s been pretty awful, and if his contact wasn’t on the books the Pistons would be fine.

    Not only does this team play well when all three are on the floor, but they can’t shoot FT’s and they turn the ball over way too much. Not to mention their awful 3PT%.

    I think for those reasons they have to shake it up and do something. That will probably mean trading Monroe eventually. The bigger issue is who they could trade with. Monroe is appealing, but most teams that could use a player like him can’t give any real value back. I wish the Sixers would do something with Thad Young in a deal like that, but it would be a longshot at best.

  2. nghtrder169 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Even if they wanted to move him, its going to really be hard like is stated to get the right value. Especially since they would be looking for not only a team that wants a young big (plenty of those out there), but also one with a quality SF they are willing to give up… Deals built around the likes of Jeff Green, Wilson Chandler or Galo dont really equal out well for the Pistons.

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Get rid of dumars. His last few big signings have been Ben Gordon, Villanueva and josh smith. Wtf? I know Detroit isn’t the best city in the world but he could have done so much better

    • cmehustle - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      I dont know why he seems to have the freedom to do whatever he likes and not face any consequences for his bad moves. I mean I know him and Isaiah both played in the same backcourt but dam!

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Still making a living off of that magical 2003-04 season that won the Chip.

  4. weaselpuppy - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    If Joe was serious about it, he’d find a way to get Evan Turner for Monroe. Thad Young created the same problem as he’s an ineffective wing but has played a lot better at the 4, so no go there. I get Turner is a horrible shooter…but a point forwardy long defender at SF at SF is what they need…assuming KCP and Brandon Jennings start hitting anything from outside. Afflalo and Tobias Harris?

    Another option is to get a real SG for Monroe and hope you hit on a SF in the draft…Eric Gordon? Ugly contract, injury issues…

    Or, keep Monroe, sign Granger in the offseason and draft a SF.

    Not a lot of great options….

  5. 00maltliquor - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    They should really trade Smith. But they won’t, so It’ll be Monroe. Watch. But they just are not gonna sit on their hands and do nothing. Someone will go. Someone HAS to go, and it shouldn’t be Monroe.

  6. pistons4life - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I think we should trade moose while they can get something for him cause he’s signing with another team end of this season

  7. saint1997 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Monroe for Afflalo, move KCP to 3

  8. weaselpuppy - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Afflalo and Harris is a lot closer value wise…

    Is there a #3 seat on the bench? That’s where KCP should go. wow he’s REALLY REALLY struggling. He would no’t be starting anywhere else right now. The only thing he does is play perimeter D….his shot is so far off right now, he doesn’t help on the boards or playmaking…he’s really awful out of the gate. He’ll get better, but he was supposed to be a shooter! Kerry Kittles type guy….Scary Skittles is more like it…damn he’s bad.

  9. bkbell3 - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Det. even bigger prob. is a small pg who is a career 39% shooter who shoots 15 plus times a game, can’t finish at the rim and cant cover anybody. Also Jennings and smith are low BB IQ players who have bad contracts. So how about monroe for kwie lenord from SA. Don’t know what filler would be needed but SA needs a big and Det. needs a wing that can play defense.

  10. wowwowbad - Jan 13, 2014 at 3:46 AM

    Josh Smith should be the one to go, not Monroe. Bigman with polish post skills are extremely rare now, despite Tim Duncan and probably Al Jefferson, who’s post moves are better than Monroe’s? They should trade him for a guy who’s natural position is SF/SG with some consistent outside shooting.

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