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Report: Pistons increase offer to restricted free agent Greg Monroe

Aug 7, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan

Just two high-quality free agents remain – Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe – and they’re still on the market due only to their restricted status.

In Phoenix, things between the Suns and Bledsoe are getting testy. (Don’t worry, the Suns are getting their point of view out, too.)

The Pistons’ negotiations with Monroe haven’t devolved to that level of public disagreement.

But that doesn’t mean they’re any closer than Bledsoe and the Suns to a deal.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

The Pistons have moved from the initial five-year, $60-million offer and an offer that’s slightly better than the four-year, $54-million deal that Josh Smith signed last summer is on the table.

But the offer to make him the highest paid player on the roster hasn’t brokered an agreement. And negotiations aren’t ongoing.

Unlike Phoenix, which seems steadfast on its our-year, $48 million offer for Bledsoe, the Pistons’ willingness to negotiate stands out.

It’s unclear whether Monroe or Detroit is pushing toward a shorter deal with a higher annual salary. Are the Pistons willing to pay Monroe more per year as long as their total investment isn’t too burdensome? Or does Monroe want a shorter contract and the ability to become an unrestricted free agent sooner?

I’m sure Monroe fancies himself a max-contract player, and there is a case to be made in a vacuum. But unless he draws a max offer sheet at this late stage, there’s practically no incentive for the Pistons to pay him that much.

And it doesn’t seem Monroe will get a max offer sheet. The 76ers are the only team with enough cap room, and though a sign-and-trade is possible, it would require another team offering Detroit satisfactory compensation.

At this point, it’s possible Monroe is trying to set himself up for his third NBA contract. Perhaps, playing with Josh Smith isn’t in Monroe’s best interest. No question, the two and Andre Drummond functioned poorly together last season, and Monroe took a brunt of the hit.

But new Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy has made Monroe his top offseason priority and called Monroe and Drummond an “ideal pairing.” Drummond, not Smith is Detroit’s franchise player. So, that should signal to Monroe he’s in good hands, right?

Monroe needn’t be certain of that, but if he’s leaning toward that being the case, he shouldn’t pass up more than $54 million over four years (or maybe $60 million over five) for a $5,479,934 qualifying offer.

There’s still plenty of time to reach a deal, and this process is naturally slow. The Pistons’ willingness to increase their offer shows progress, but considering negotiations aren’t ongoing, the finish line probably remains far.

Eventually, Monroe will either bring Detroit a qualifying offer or get serious about discussing the structure of his next contract. In the meantime, both sides wait – and for now at least, avoid the Bledsoe-Suns-style public bickering.

  1. duhwighthoward - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    He’s decent. Obviously good enough to be a starter. But he’s not a star.

    Take the money and run, Greg!

  2. tcclark - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    just trade them for each other. They’re better fits on each other’s roster anyway and they have equal value

  3. shanelsweet - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Give him a little less for a short, 2 year deal. If he’s worth $14M a year for 4 year deal, then give him $26M for 2 years. He’ll hit the market again when the salary cap should be a good bit higher, and Detroit gets a chance to show him they’ve got a plan to win with him and Drummond (and JSmith for all I care).

  4. 2016olympics - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    He wants more then the 5 years $60M Marcin Gortat got….and he’s got every right.

  5. metrocritical - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Monroe has the right to want what he wants even though he seems to be wrong in thinking that he’s worth a max contract. CBA rules and the market establish value and the realities at play are dictating that the above average/below superstar Greg Monroe is going to get a huge but not max deal. Van Gundy may not be the messiah in Detroit but Monroe would be crazy to go into the season on a one year deal.

  6. censormynameandmycomments - Aug 7, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    What’s with the obvious animosity toward Phx?

    Still mad your Lakers (we all know you’re a homer) don’t have a 1st rounder this year?

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