Skip to content

Report: Greg Monroe tells Pistons he will sign $5.5 million qualifying offer, become free agent next year

Aug 12, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards Getty Images

He wasn’t bluffing.

When rumors leaked that Greg Monroe was thinking about signing the qualifying offer and playing out his rookie contract to get out of Detroit as a free agent next summer rather than accept the team’s terms (reportedly a little more than the they paid Josh Smith the year before) most people around the league thought it was a bluff. Mostly because nobody else had ever turned down that kind of money (more than $11 million a year) and taken a year of injury risk just to get out of town.

Looks like Monroe wasn’t bluffing.

From Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today.

Forward-center Greg Monroe has informed the Detroit Pistons’ he will accept the qualifying offer, play for Detroit in 2014-15 and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, two people familiar with Monroe’s plan told USA TODAY Sports….

Monroe, 24, was a restricted free agent this summer but decided not to sign an offer sheet with another team or sign a multiyear extension with the Pistons….

Monroe’s qualifying offer is for $5.479 million in 2014-15 and cannot be traded without his consent once he signs. He’s expected to sign it before the Oct. 1 deadline.

That deadline means the Pistons have a little time to up their offer or find a sign-and-trade that would work for Monroe.

Monroe averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds a game last season, with a solid true shooting percentage of .531 and a well above average PER of 18.1. A lot of people think he could develop into an All-Star center. That said, playing next to Josh Smith (and Andre Drummond) stunted Monroe’s growth. Those three cannot play together, but the Pistons likely bring them all back this year.

Most restricted free agents try to get another team to make them a big offer that their current team would have to match. Monroe did not do that. While he has a lot of fans in front offices around the league — and will be very sought after as a free agent next summer — teams thought the Pistons would match pretty much any offer so they didn’t make one. Monroe’s agent tried to find a sign-and-trade but nothing happened.

So he is going with his only card — take the risk of whatever happens this season playing for rookie money for the reward of unrestricted free agency next year. Get injured or have a bad season and the gamble fails.

But he wants out that badly.

Somewhere, Eric Bledsoe is sitting, watching, and wondering if he should do the same thing.

  1. elcapitanfiscal - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    He probably doesn’t hate playing for Detroit as much as he hates playing with Josh Smith.

    • chicagosports2014 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:45 AM

      MJ should gett him, sign – n – trade style

    • pburghballin - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      I doubt he hates playing for Detroit at all. A great coach (finally), an owner that likes him, a fan base that loves him…

      Let’s call it what it is…the second they signed Josh Smith to that absurd contract, for reasons that the universe will never be able to explain…he was gone. It’s a gamble alright, but a gamble I don’t blame him one bit for taking. He can be an absolutely great player on another team where there is a fit. Detroit (more accurately Joe Dumars) squeezed him out, without even realizing they were doing it. Again..the universe will never be able to explain that signing. Idiotic…to be nice…

  2. 6thsense10 - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Man. Someone risking $50+ million to get out of Detroit? Wow. Putting his money where his mouth is. But at least he’s already a millionaire. Unlike the prep players forced to serve one year of unpaid labor in the NCAA.

    • patfic5 - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      That little thing called school costs money. And those athletes go for free.

      • lacolem1 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:02 PM

        And? Free tuition doesn’t make up for the enormous amount of money the most popular player make their universities with a high risk of long-term physical or mental impairment, depending on the sport.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:04 PM


        and its more than the scholarship they get.

        they get weight training, coaching, practices that are filmed, games filmed, film gets broken down for them so they may learn and improve, trainers etc…

        go to those expensive places out in Arizona to train like some pros do and it COSTS a LOT of money.

        kids on big time football and basketball teams get a LOT more than just the scholarship.

        those other things would set them back a LOT of money if they had to go pay for it, the training, coaching, facilities etc…

      • fanofthegame79 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        I won’t take that away from you, sportsfan18, that the training, facilities, etc. all costs money, but a small drop in the bucket compared the money sports brings into the schools. And I’m not just talking about the big money makers like Texas or Alabama, all schools take pride in their athletic programs because it’s a revenue source, it’s entertainment for their constituents (students, alumni, etc.) and a rallying point for the campus as a whole (which is why every school’s brochure has some sports-based pictures in them).

        There will never be a monetary argument strong enough to outweigh how much a school brings in compared to what it has to pay out in terms of student athletes.

      • campcouch - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        Not to mention exposure and an opportunity to make millions. Fair trade off.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:12 PM


        and i’m not trying to take away from you either.

        the schools DO make lots off of them. I was just trying to point out that they do receive more than just the scholarships.

        especially those at the BIG TIME schools. they get to play on national TV more times than not which exposes them to scouts and teams etc…

        of course, the BIG TIME schools are known and teams and scouts come to watch many of their players so if a kid gets on that team, he IS going to have scouts around and now has a chance to be seen

        its tougher for the kids playing out in Montana, S. Dakota etc… to be seen and just playing for a Duke, Michigan, Kentucky is worth a lot to a player even though they aren’t paying for it.

        but yes, you’re right, the schools are rolling in what the kids make for them.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

        Hey, you’re a really great developer! I work at Google and I’d love to hire you right now for 1.2 million dollars a year. Oh I’m sorry apparently you ave to go to school for one year first where you’ll be paid with 1/4 of a college education you didn’t want or need. Ok well I’ll hire you as soon as you get out. Oh I’m sorry you have to go work for the worst tech company from last year and we can’t negotiate so you won’t know you’re real value for 7 years.

        Yeah seems like a fair trade off…

      • georgiared - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Hey, I work at Google & if you think we’d hire ANYBODY straight out of high school, then you’re a complete idiot. We don’t even hire people without a COLLEGE EDUCATION. After they accomplish that they get the joy of trying to pay off their tens of thousands of dollars in student debts all on their $40,000 salary.

  3. cluelessdufus - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Pistons better hope that someone will take Smith or Monroe is gone (if he already isn’t) Probably be best to get Jennings outta there too. Drummond and Monroe down low are good building blocks and let KCP develop and just start over.

    • pburghballin - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      if they’d have kept Brandon Knight, not signed Jennings, and never went after Josh Smith, something tells me THAT team could be a 7-8 seed in the East under SVG. Obviously the Jennings and Smith money could be better spent. Then with another piece or two…they would have been a team that could have made a little bit of noise.

  4. money2long - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:07 PM


  5. campcouch - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    A win for Monroe. Free agency, or the Pistons paying him max next season or a trade to a team that he consents to who will definitely lock him up long term with a fat contract.

  6. csbanter - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Pistons are going to dump him in February, even though he will be a rental for his next team they will take whomever at that point. Just to say they didn’t lose him for nothing. Monroe has a lot to learn about how this NBA Shake Down stuff works.

    • 6thsense10 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Obviously someone didn’t read the article. One of the benefits of the qualifying offer is it comes with a no trade clause so Monroe completely controls his own destiny.

    • logicalcomment - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      csbanter has a lot to learn about how this NBA Shake Down stuff works.

  7. hurley711 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    I don’t know enough about Josh Smith as a person so can anyone explain to me does he know he isn’t well liked? Does he know how terrible his shot charts are and that he shouldn’t be shooting 3s etc etcm

    • 6thsense10 - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Josh Smith isn’t well liked? Interesting.

  8. saint1997 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Love this move, power to the players. I think he would be an incredible fit in the triangle, and probably cheaper than Marc Gasol

    • weaselpuppy - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      because he plays not much defense and doesn’t have a deeper jumper like Gasol.

      The Pistons spend money on crap players and guys like Smith and Jennings, then get cheap when a guy they develop starts to round out into a very useful guy….

      dammit Dumars, thanks for nothing again. They chose to not give him an extension and now unless they really pony up, he’s gone and they are stuck with 2 of the worst shooters in the league to play SVGs 4 deep and post game….

      Karen Davidson is a harpy. Joe D is a trainwreck and Gores is a buffoon….

  9. metrocritical - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    And the cursed shadow of Joe Dumars’ wicked reign continues to darken the Pistons’ future days.

    • emdawt - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      1 NBA championship, 2 Eastern Conference titles and 6 division titles in 14 years is pretty good.

  10. mungman69 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    If you are a pro they take care of those things like trainers etc.

  11. ravenswhat - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    How is this shocking? Who wants to live in Detroit under their own volition?

  12. buffalo65 - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    He could play along Jonas in Toronto. Ross and a few others and away we go.

  13. haaaaasoooooo - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    “A high risk of physical or mental impairment, based on the sport?” Mental impairment? NCAA athletes are at risk for mental impairment while on scholarship?

    • bkbell3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      He said depending on which sport they play. Many hits to to the head in college football can lead to mental problems later in life etc.

  14. harshedmellow - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    The RFA dynamic is an interesting one. Perhaps most I there’s ring is the no-trade clause if the sign the qualifying tender. It really puts a player in the driver’s seat ASAP.

    So he will have played, what, 3 seasons or 4 after this next? If it’s 3, he’ll have made ~14 million. So he sees half of that after taxes. If he’s fairly frugal (ha!) he should have 4-5 mil in the bank.

    So he’s already wealthier than any of US scrubs will ever be, and has enough right now to live quite well off the interest for the rest of his life. I can see the appeal of signing that tender for sure. Play one more year then you are an UFA next year at a very young age and can go play where you want… for a max or near-max deal…

  15. harshedmellow - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Perhaps *most interesting*….. silly iPhone….

  16. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    One year away from calling your own shots. I wish someone would pay me 5mil so I could tell them to kiss my donkey.

  17. bkbell3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Don’t buy it. he said he is going to sign it but didn’t and has till oct. to do it. Do you think he is trying to apply a little preasure? He is a nice player but if he gets hurt he is f–ked. Also there are a lot of good free agents available next year…

    • pburghballin - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      He’ll be one of the better guys available. At this point, he’s considered 2nd tier. His numbers last year weren’t astonishing, but they were still good, and his PER was above average….all in an offense that had absolutely zero direction and cohesion. He’s not the 2nd coming of Wilt the Stilt…but the guy can be a baller on a less “congested” offense. Now yes, his D does leave something to be desired. The guy got skills though, and whoever gets him will be getting a baller.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2292)
  2. K. Irving (1812)
  3. L. James (1699)
  4. K. Bryant (1579)
  5. A. Davis (1447)