Jun 30, 2014, 11:43 PM EDT
There will – and should be – plenty of interest in the 24-year-old Pistons big man, who averaged at least 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game each of the last three seasons.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
So far, the Trail Blazers’ interest is the only one to take seriously. I believe the Pistons will match any offer for Monroe, so unless a team offers a sign-and-trade, the Pistons wouldn’t let him walk for nothing now.
Portland could offer an intriguing deal centered on Nicolas Batum, who would fit a major need for Detroit. Wesley Matthews and Dorell Wright could form a less-desirable, though still possible, trade. Maybe the Trail Blazers would even offer Robin Lopez, whose minutes would likely be cut with Monroe in the fold. I’d guess Portland would want to keep Lopez for his defense – Monroe and LaMarcus Aldridge would have issues as a pairing – but the Trail Blazers are often offensive-minded.
For Atlanta and Orlando to have a serious chance, they’d probably have to propose sign-and-trades too.
The Magic certainly wouldn’t trade Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon or Elfrid Payton for Monroe. That leaves them thin on desirable players, though draft picks could always be the centerpiece of a deal. I’d be surprised if Orlando traded a quality first rounder at this stage of their rebuilding, though.
Most likely, Monroe just returns to the Pistons, who could keep exploring trades once he’s under contract.
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