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Report: Pelicans have asked Pistons about Greg Monroe sign-and-trade

Jun 16, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

Greg Monroe, Ryan Anderson Greg Monroe, Ryan Anderson

New Pistons president/coach Stan Gundy called Andre Drummond and Greg Monroean ideal pairing.”

Few are as bullish as me on Drummond and Monroe playing together – as long as Josh Smith isn’t also on the court mucking everything up – but even I think that’s a bit much. Neither Drummond nor Monroe has much shooting range, and both need major work defensively before it’s even possible to determine how well they’d complement each other on that end.

Mostly, the pairing works because Drummond (20) and Monroe (24) are similar ages and talented. They can grow together, and as much as Drummond is central to the Pistons’ future, it would be foolish to throw away Monroe just because he’s not the absolute best on-court fit next to Drummond.

But if the Pistons could get value for Monroe, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, that would change the discussion.

Nakia Hogan of The Times-Picayune:

While the Pelicans, with about $7 million in salary cap room, don’t appear to have enough cap space to sign Monroe, a source said the team has made some initial inquiries to the Pistons about the possibility of working out a sign-and-trade deal.

Monroe, a New Orleans native, would likely hold interest in playing for his hometown Pelicans. But no matter where he plays, he’ll be seeking a max contract.

To make a sign-and-trade work financially, New Orleans has four players it could send to Detroit: Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday or Ryan Anderson.

I doubt the Pelicans would trade Holiday or Evans after acquiring them just last offseason, and Evans probably wouldn’t pique the Pistons’ interest anyway. They don’t need another player without 3-point range, especially a guard.

The Pelicans would love to unload Gordon, and if they want to discuss a deal based around Gordon for Smith – two overpaid players who still hold promise due to their talent, even if it hasn’t shown lately – that could work. But for Monroe? That should be a non-starter in Detroit.

That leaves Anderson.

Anderson, 26, is older than Monroe, meaning his prime will overlap less with Drummond’s – a significant concern. But Anderson is still reasonably young and, as a stretch four, a perfect on-court match for Drummond. Anderson had his best years in Orlando under Van Gundy and has reached levels Monroe never has. The biggest concern is how Anderson recovers from a neck injury that kept him out most of this season.

The Pelicans might not trade Anderson for Monroe, and they probably shouldn’t – unless Anderson isn’t healthy, and then Detroit shouldn’t. Monroe would be a bigger player to pair with Anthony Davis, but the price is too high.

Still, if there were one sign-and-trade possibility that works for both teams, it starts with Anderson for Monroe.

  1. cantonb0und13 - Jun 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Stan Van Gundy and Ryan Anderson reunited? Van Gundy wants a guy who can spread the floor with Andre Drummond. Looks like Van Gundy wants to build a team similar to the Magic, when they had Rashard Lewis and Anderson spacing the floor for Dwight Howard.

    • loubearkane - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      I don’t think Ryan Anderson is netting Greg Monroe. I think Tyreke Evens & Rivers might make it happen.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        You do realize that Ryan Anderson is better than both and cheaper than Evans, right? This is before we even get to fit.

      • money2long - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        The way Evans played down the stretch last season, hmm. Don’t be so quick to say Evans isn’t better.
        However the point on fit makes Anderson a much better net for the pistons.

      • loubearkane - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        How is Anderson a better fit? Smith is not a post player , he is a tweener.

  2. cluelessdufus - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    That would be interesting. Though would Davis or Monroe play center? Davis has been more a PF this last year and so was Monroe with Drummond in the middle and Smith at the 3. At least they work together as back to the basket players.

  3. felser - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    “Anderson had his best years in Orlando under Van Gundy and has reached levels Monroe never has”. Huh? They’re different players. Anderson has more shooting range, but Anderson’s best season was 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, Monroe’s was 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds. If anything, Monroe has reached levels Anderson never has. Trade actually would make sense for both teams in a lot of ways.

  4. Tess - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    The best thing about Anderson is that he makes Josh Smith playable. Defensively, Smith can play the 3, but with Anderson out behind the 3-point line, it gives Smith and Drummond more room to play near the basket without having the paint hopelessly clogged.

    The Pistons should get something else out of the deal, but if they can match value, it’s a win/win.

    • loubearkane - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      That has always been Smith’s problem , he thinks he’s a wing and likes to wander into 3-pt range.

    • seenable - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      Smith can’t guard NBA 3s anymore. That was clear as day this year. He just doesn’t have the foot quickness.

  5. weaselpuppy - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Gordon for Smith would actually be a nice idea for the Pistons….A box of stale taco shells is acceptable for JSmoove in any case….

  6. zacman83 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I agree that Anderson-Smith-Drummond is a more playable combo than with Monroe. Your defense is going to be mediocre either way until Drummond figures out the nuances of being an NBA stopper. I’m not an Austin Rivers fan, but adding a combo guard like him with some offensive creativity might be enough to tip the trade for the Pistons.

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