Jul 21, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT
Both could play for the Suns next year.
Phoenix has the inside track on re-signing Bledsoe, even though they’re far apart in negotiations. Bledsoe, like Monroe, is a restricted free agent – meaning the Suns can match any offer he receives.
As they wait for Bledsoe to sign an offer sheet, they might put the Pistons on the clock with Monroe.
Jordan Schultz of NBC Sports Radio:
How does Monroe, a methodical big man, fit into Phoenix’s up-tempo attack? The same way Isaiah Thomas fit into a point guard rotation that already included Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Tyler Ennis.
The Suns want value where they can find it. If they can get Monroe at a price they believe falls short of his production, they probably would – and definitely should – sign him and sort out the rest later.
Phoenix has enough cap space to offer Monroe a max contract, which is likely what it would take to sign him. I can’t see him locking himself into anything less at this point, especially if it opens the door for the Pistons to match and put him back on a roster with Josh Smith.
It’s possible Monroe is worth more than his max deal, though his true value is probably a touch shy of that. If the Suns want to make an aggressive push, there’s really no downside. This late in free agency, they won’t risk losing other targets during the the three days Detroit has to match. Besides Bledsoe, there’s nobody left even near Monroe’s level.
If pressed, I think the Pistons would match. Before free agency, Stan Van Gundy said he knew how he’d handle any potential Monroe scenario. Since, though, he’s opened the door for letting Monroe walk – or at least created confusion on that front.
Andre Drummond is the Pistons’ future, and Smith remains in Detroit. Van Gundy would have to shuffle lineups, and maybe even the roster, to make Monroe fit.
But the Suns don’t offer a perfect fit, either. Their style is not conducive to Monroe, though he could work as a change of pace.
Unfortunately for Monroe, there’s no perfect option. Right now, he can just wait to see how much money Phoenix offers and then go from there.
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