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Report: Washington Wizards want Greg Monroe

Jan 20, 2014, 7:34 PM EDT

Greg Monroe, Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Josh Smith

The Detroit Pistons have one month to determine whether they’re willing to give Greg Monroe a max contract.

There’s no guarantee Monroe will get that large of an offer as a restricted free agent this summer, but the possibility is high enough that if the Pistons aren’t willing to pay him max money, they nearly have to deal him before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.

Centers capable of averaging 16.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game at 22 years old, which Monroe did last season, don’t grow on trees. Even though he struggles defensively and has taken a step back this season as he’s adjusted to playing with Josh Smith, Monroe is still extremely valuable.

Just not necessarily to the Pistons.

Detroit already has Smith and Andre Drummond, making Monroe at least somewhat redundant. In the short term, the Pistons need a wing shooter much more than they need Monroe.

Which teams have what Detroit covets and would trade for Monroe, though? Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insider:

One team that is interested in Monroe is the Washington Wizards, according to multiple league sources. It’s becoming clear that Washington is planning to pursue in Monroe, either through trade or free agency.

The Pistons are certainly a team to keep an eye on over the next month. Rival executives have said that there is “turmoil” within the organization and that they haven’t decided what to do as the deadline approaches.

The 20-20 Wizards seem to have leverage over the 17-24 Pistons.

Washington probably doesn’t need to make a move to make the playoffs this season, its primary goal. Detroit, which has the same ambition, might.

Plus, with the contracts of Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat expiring this offseason, the Wizards would probably have enough cap room to make a run at Monroe as a free agent this summer. Do the Pistons really want to match a max offer to Monroe made by Washington? That threat might entice Detroit to deal Monroe to the Wizards in the next month rather than face the dilemma of losing him for nothing or paying him max money.

At one point a Bradley Beal-for-Monroe trade seemed within the realm of reason, but Beal has probably played himself beyond that.

A deal structured around Monroe for Otto Porter might make sense. When Washington drafted Porter No. 3, he was more valuable than Monroe, but a slow start to his rookie year, even if injury related, has worn some shine off Porter. It’s way too early to write off Porter, which is why the Pistons might be interested. But a chance to get a player like Monroe – who would be an excellent pick-and-roll partner with John Wall – might convince the Wizards to let someone else bet on Porter’s future.

What about Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza? Acquiring either for Monroe would probably make the Pistons better right now, adding much-needed shooting to a roster that might also benefit just from losing one of its three primary bigs. But Webster is four years older and Ariza five years older than Monroe. A trade like that would definitely say something about how desperate the Detroit is to win now at the expense of the future.

If the Pistons have shifted gears toward the future – as Kennedy reports, they might not even know their desired direction – they’d certainly be interested in a first-round pick. But Washington, which traded a protected first rounder for Gortat, can’t deal another, per the Stepien Rule.

That still leaves several viable permeations of a trade that send Monroe to the Wizards. And the simper possibility, Washington signing him to an offer sheet this summer, still remains.

The ball is in the Pistons’ court for now, but if Monroe, a former Georgetown Hoya, wants to return to Washington, the Wizards might just have the juice to get it done.

  1. raiderdan69 - Jan 20, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I’ve said it before ill say it again…the pistons will regret signing josh smith and they will lose a very talented young big because of it.

  2. weaselpuppy - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Ariza or Webster are non starters. The Stones are still about 2 more seaons from making a real run…by that time Ariza will be all done and Webster isn’t nor ever will be.

    Porter is a lottery ticket….I think Dumars can get better…Turner, Leonard, Afflalo/Harris…

    • money2long - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      i can’t see the spurs trading leonard. at least not at this point.

  3. DonKellyBaby - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Detroit is going to have to make a move as soon as possible. It’s just too bad that move can’t be firing Joe Dumars. All jokes aside, the Pistons are handcuffed to Smith for at least 2 more years and Drummond is untouchable. Monroe is the odd man out, and if I were to put a percentage on a Monroe trade, I’d say it’s around 99% probable.

    Detroit needs to acquire either a SF or SG in the deal.

  4. coachjac30 - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    If I’m Dumars I can get much more than that for Monroe. As a Celtics fan I would like to see them get in on this action, offer Wallace and a 1st for Monroe and Villanuea or Jeff Green for Monroe and Bynum

    • zeedoubleyou - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      It would take multiple 1st round picks from the Celtics just to get someone to take on Gerald Wallace’s contract.

  5. 00maltliquor - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    They really need to trade Smoove and not Monroe. But this is the Pistons so sensibility is not to be expected. Joe Dumass really needs to be politely escorted to the door.

  6. weaselpuppy - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Wallace is a boat anchor. If he were a game ticket sitting in your car, people would smash the window and leave you another one they had.

    Jeff Green and a late first for Monroe? Sure.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:11 AM

      Wallace is a 13pt 5 reb a night guy, if he played starters minutes. While that isn’t great, when you couple that with a first round pick, you wouldn’t consider that for a guy you’re likely going to lose at the end of the season?

      The real question is what do the Pistons envision with their team and what direction do they want to go in? That team would be better served with Smith at the 4 not the 3.

      • zeedoubleyou - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        You can’t extrapolate Wallace’s numbers because his body is too broken down from years of all-out hustle.

        Boston can barely get NBA-level talent on the floor, and he’s only averaging 22 mpg.

        There’s a big difference between putting up numbers (which GW isn’t even doing) on a bad team and being a valuable NBA asset.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        You don’t think that he’s only playing 22 mins a game for a reason? The Celtics don’t want to make the playoffs, so why would they give him more time?

  7. weaselpuppy - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:28 AM

    Trading Monroe isn’t a dump deal. They can re-sign him next year, it would just complicate things down the road when they have to give a max deal to Drummond.

    Getting Wallace does nothing for the Pistons as he doesn’t fit their needs ( a spread 3 with a handle that can get to the bucket and shoot 3s), has a terrible contract and is old as hell and will be glue by the time the Pistons start making the playoffs and also not be under contract. They want a guy that can help now….neither Wallace or a back 10 pick in rd 1 is that.

    Monroe is a 6’11” low block scorer with soft hands, that can board, that is 23…not many of those floating around in trade….

    • coachjac30 - Jan 21, 2014 at 4:19 AM

      They may be able to do a sign and trade if they need to, so yes I understand it isn’t a complete dump, but they have to look at options. While I am not saying Wallace is the best/only available player, if the options are 31 year old Wallace at 10 mill for 2 years and a 1st rounder vs. Porter and a 2nd rounder, I’m taking the former.

      The Pistons need a lot, but they need to figure out what their plan is moving forward. For me personally, if I were them, I would want to build around Drummond and Monroe, but they would need to find a taker for Smith. Financially they can fit him in next year if they sign him to a 14/15 million deal, and the year after they have a ton of cap room, but they also need better guards and small forwards. While I’m sure Dumars has a plan in mind, but as of now KCP is your starting 2 and you’re still playing with Smith at the 3. In a draft that is suppose to be very very deep, having no 1st rd picks as of now, isn’t going to help them build that roster.

      I’m guessing the Pistons trade him, whether it be at the deadline, or in the offseason, and as a Celtics fan, I’m hoping we get in on that.

      • zeedoubleyou - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        I think you’re failing to realize that the Gerald Wallace contract is widely considered one of the worst deals in the league in NBA circles.

      • weaselpuppy - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        Your layout of the situation is very sound coachjac, I’d just rather get Porter and a 2nd. Now, if the 1st is a top 7 pick, it’s a different story, but I doubt Boston would do that,,,,when you say 1st I am assuming it’s one of the ones Boston traded for that will be back around pick 20-25, and to that I say no thank you.

        Porter is a work in progress and will be through his first 100 games or so…., but so was one of his biggest comps, Tayshaun Prince…which is exactly the type of guy the Pistons need….

  8. guinsslvr - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I can’t see Washing giving up on Porter so fast. I live in Detroit and was super frustrated when Dumars signed Smith and didnt seem to go after Andre Iguodala at all. He seemed like a way better fit on the wing with Monroe and Drummond down low. I am a big Monroe fan, Offensively he is gifted and I think his defensive has and can keep improving. But unfortunately I’m a Piston fan too and think the best for both parties is a trade. I intially though the Knicks could try and get ahold of him for Shumpert, but that seems unlikely at this point. What about Rondo and Green for Monroe, Jennings and maybe a draft pick. I dunno, but what I see is a guy in Monroe who could average 18 pts, 10 rebs and 5 assists if he got more touches.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Maybe the Celts send Green/Bass for Monroe/Villanueva. The deal you proposed involving Rondo/Jennings would only work if the Celts were willing to use nearly 10 mill in trade exceptions.

      The real problem for the Pistons if they were to trade Monroe at the deadline is if its a straight 1for1 swap, they can only trade for like a 6mll guy.

      Maybe the Pistons work a deal with New Orleans who wants a big to pair with Davis. Monroe for Rivers/Aminu or Monroe/Villanueva for Gordon with picks involved.

  9. jchaika - Jan 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    “Centers capable of averaging 16.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game at 22 years old, which Monroe did last season, don’t grow on trees.”
    You’re not kidding: these are the ALL of the other centers who have done this in the past 20 years: Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudamire, Chris Bosh, and Dwight Howard. Not bad company.

  10. wowwowbad - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Washington get: Greg Monroe, Charlie Villanueva, Will Bynum
    Detroit get: Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, Otto Potter, future 1st round pick

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