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Stan Van Gundy knows what Pistons will do with Greg Monroe

Jun 25, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan

With the Magic, Stan Van Gundy favored stretch fours like Rashard Lewis. That led to speculation the Pistons’ new president/coach would trade Greg Monroe, a bigger power forward without much range outside the paint.

In reality, Van Gundy called Monroe and Andre Drummond – another big without a jumper – an ideal pairing. Van Gundy recognizes value, and Drummond and Monroe are the Pistons’ two most valuable players.

But there’s a catch.

Monroe will become a restricted free agent this summer and could draw a max contract offer sheet. Would the Pistons match it?

Van Gundy, via David Mayo of MLive:

“We’ve been through basically every million-dollar increment of an offer sheet he can get, and what will we do if he takes the option of signing an offer sheet, and this is what he comes back with, what will we do?” Van Gundy said. “So to me, there’s not going to be any drama in it for us. We’ve already made that decision. We’ve already talked that through with ownership.”

“I think teams think it’s better, especially with younger guys, to have an asset, even if he’s overpaid, that can bring value down the road, than to have a guy go for nothing,” Van Gundy said.

Van Gundy said he has spent “well over half my time” on the Monroe situation since his May 13 hiring, calling it “the most important thing on our plate for the offseason.”

“It’s certainly an indication of how much I value him,” Van Gundy said of his time expenditure.

“If we make a trade, we’re going to get something we like, or we will not make a trade,” he said, adding that the Pistons “either want him (Monroe) back or we want good value for him.”

Maybe there’s a cutoff where the Pistons would let Monroe walk, but I infer the Pistons would match any offer – which, based on the projected salary cap, would be worth up to $63,011,880 over four years.

Van Gundy is absolutely right that a slightly overpaid Monroe is more valuable than no Monroe at all. The Pistons don’t have enough assets to squander one.

A sign-and-trade offer – the Pelicans are reportedly interested – could complicate Van Gundy’s decision. By making clear to teams the Pistons want to keep Monroe, Van Gundy is practically asking for teams to submit sign-and-trade offers. They know simply offering Monroe an offer sheet would mean Detroit would match and keep him. Once a player signs an offer sheet, a sign-and-trade is no longer possible.

Of course, if the Pistons keep Monroe, they must figure out how to integrate him with Drummond and Josh Smith. That jumbo front line struggled mightily last season. Trading Smith is probably the ideal option, but easier said than done. Smith could also come off the bench next year.

Sounds as if the Pistons will keep Monroe and sort out the rest later.

  1. bugsygod - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Smith is coming off the Bench.

  2. conjecture101 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    This ought to sting for stat heads. Their favorite coach completely inverting their preconceived theory about floor spacing by calling two non-jumpshooting bigs; a perfect fit. Obviously Stan is too smart to be imprisoned by the perceptions of stat obsessed commentators. Monroe & Drummond can work. Will it? That’s a separate question. My bet would be on Stan making it work.

    • bugsygod - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      The STATS from last year show the Pistons on offensevie were top ten when only TWO of the bigs played together. That would be monroe/smith, monroe/drummond, drummond/smith. So SVG is looking at the stats.

      • conjecture101 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Good call, my mistake.

  3. bougin89 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    SVG translation: “We will match any offer so please feel free to be prepared to offer actual value via a sign and trade if you want him.”

    • bkbell3 - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Agreed, and in what world is Greg Monroe,a good player, worth north of 15mil per year?Esp. on a bad team. That’s crazy talk. 10-11mil maybe for 4 years. I know people over pay for bigs but when will they learn not to. The piston’s real problem is a small point guard who is a volume shooter shooting 39% for his career who can’t finish at the rim and is a ghost on defense and josh smith who quite possibly has the lowest BB IQ on the league and a motor that is to often stuck in first gear.

      • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Being a Bucks fan, I know first hand just how awful Jennings is…he is as big of an “empty stats” guy that there is. So glad we traded him.

  4. bealwithit - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Start Monroe and Drummond and bring Smith off the bench AS A PF.

    There are enough minutes for all 3 to play as bigs without playing Smith at SF.

  5. bruiserbrigade - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Could be just talk. They would have way too much money on the books with a Drummond extension on the horizon. I think he’ll take what he can get in a sign and trade. Phoenix should offer either Marcus Morris, a protected draft pick, and/or one of the rookies we take in the draft Thursday.

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