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Report: Greg Monroe ‘doesn’t really have a great interest in going back and playing with the Pistons’

Aug 1, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons

Not unlike Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe is stuck.

The Pistons’ restricted free agent is seeking a max contract – as he should – but this late in free agency, the market seems to have dried up. It’s difficult to see any team extending him a large offer sheet, giving Detroit a ton of leverage in negotiations.

So like Bledsoe and/or his representatives did, Monroe and/or his representatives expressed his unhappiness with his current team to gain a bit of power at the bargaining table. In Monroe’s case, it was demanding a trade of Josh Smith.

That might have been nothing but a ploy, but at least one plugged-in reporter says the request were in line with Monroe’s true feelings.

Adrian Wojnarowski on Aime Mukendi Jr.’s AIMEzing Words podcast at about the 10:40 mark (hat tip: Sean Corp of Detroit Bad Boys):

Greg Monroe, Detroit has tried to help him with some sign-and-trade possibilities around the league. Monroe doesn’t really have a great interest in going back and playing with the Pistons. But if they’re going to move him in a sign and trade, they’ve got to get value for him. And they’ve got to get back some significant players, some significant talent, to compensate for that loss. They haven’t been able to find a deal for him.

They’ve talked with Atlanta. I believe they talked to Phoenix for a while. Those are two off the top of my head that they had conversations with and there was interest. Portland had some interest early on, but those teams moved on, and they realized – again, they could have signed Monroe to an offer sheet, but Detroit would have likely matched it, and they weren’t just going to let him leave for nothing.

Monroe, Smith and Andre Drummond have played terribly together, and Monroe had often been the one left marginalized and agitated. With Smith under contract for three more years and reportedly unlikely to be traded, I can see why Monroe wants to move on.

But that that trio was created and elevated by the previous regime.

Stan Van Gundy has tried to sell Monroe on a vision that includes Monroe and Drummond excelling together. At least that’s the line Van Gundy sells publicly.

I actually believe Monroe and Drummond could thrive together – with three shooters also on the court, and that means no Smith. But if Smith isn’t going to be traded, the Pistons would be wise to explore Monroe sign-and-trade that return value.

Interest from the Hawks, Trail Blazers and Suns is no secret. Portland already signed Chris Kaman, which, as Wojnarowski said, likely ended interest in Monroe. But Atlanta and Phoenix, especially with Bledsoe unsigned, still make some sense.

In the end, it’s difficult to see a team offering Monroe a contract he deems worthy AND surrendering assets Detroit deems worthy. The most likely scenario is Monroe returning to the Pistons.

He might not like playing with Smith, and maybe this turns into a Nene-like delayed sign-and-trade. Or maybe the Pistons eventually trade Smith.

Either way, Monroe could be playing for a team that suits him soon enough. But if he wants to get paid rather than take the one-year qualifying offer, he’ll likely have to sign with the Pistons – or sign an offer sheet they’d match – first.

  1. kaspauf - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Monroe to the hawks would be the big man that team has always needed so Horford can slide into the 4 spot and not play C.

    • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:07 AM

      Monroe is a PF himself.

  2. mortalkondek - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Bummer, man, I would rather have Moose here than Smoov.

  3. senorpapino - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    The biggest problem right now with Detroit besides the logjam at the 4/5 is the glaring need at SF. Neither Phoenix or Atlanta really has anything to offer there. Since SVG likes the stretch 4, maybe Payne in Atlanta or one of the Morris twins in Phoenix could be a project as part of a deal.

    • sawick48 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      how about a jeff green/olynyk package for gregger? any interest there for pistons fans?

      • jacobmcbride1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Olynyk is interesting but Jeff Green is bad and overpaid and not better than Kyle Singler

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Excellent idea. Would be a great trade for both teams.

      • lphboston - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Sounds like a fair deal, but if Detroit doesn’t like it they could remove either Green or Olynyk and sub a No. 1. Celtics have a bunch of them.

  4. cmart0907 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Can you really blame the guy? Detroit is a mess.

  5. philliesblow - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    This won’t happen, but I like the end result: Monroe to Minnesota, Love to Golden State, Draymond comes home.

  6. themagicfanguy - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    LOL. Yes Jeff Green is better than Kyle Singler, Green isn’t great but you’re overestimating Singler.

    • unxpexted1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      I’m saying, Jeff Green may be getting overpaid but lets not act like he’s a lifetime bench player that Kyle Singler is.

    • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      Singler really ain’t squat, sry

  7. felser - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Double sign and trade Monroe for Bledsoe. Makes both teams better and both players happier.

    • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      Kind of fair, but I give a slight edge of Monroe > Bledsoe.

  8. bruiserbrigade - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Send him to Phoenix. He needs a change of scenery.

  9. timmons94 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Can’t blame him… Drummond is a stud… But between j brick and Jennings u never get the ball… Kcp going to be better. Jerebko going to get a chance again and is solid. Love singler. This team has talent just 2 ball hogs who don’t like to play defense

  10. saint1997 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Can someone please explain to me why teams at this stage are so hesitant to sign a player just because his team will match? I mean, surely someone would just take the gamble by now

    • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:13 AM

      Exactly, what’s there to lose? Makes no sense. What about the Parson’s situation? And I’d DEF take Monroe @ $12 M/yr > Parsons @ $15 M/yr ..in a damm heartbeat!!!

    • jamoomba - Aug 2, 2014 at 3:39 AM

      Absolutely. The prevailing thought is that teams don’t want to tie up the cap space while they wait for a free agents current team to match the offer or not; but it’s only 3 days, makes no sense at all. I felt a lot of teams missed great opportunities early on in free agency because they were all pipe-dreaming ( or pipe smoking) hoping to land Lebron or Melo. I really wanted the Lakers to forget trying to make the big splash and instead try to use the cap space they had to slightly overpay Bledsoe/Stephenson/Monroe. They probably would’ve ended up with at least one if not two or all of them, either way that would’ve been a much better strategy than what they ended up doing. But like you said, for some reason teams are scared of dealing with a restricted free agent and that’s just plain stupid.

  11. elcapitanfiscal - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    By Pistons he means Josh Smith.

  12. xjokerz - Aug 2, 2014 at 5:33 AM

    That sucks. As a pistons fan I can say we would ALL rather have Monroe and Drummond as the future. He’s not alone in the feeling of wanting to trade Josh smith .

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