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NBA GM says ‘there’s no reason’ to trade for restricted free agents Greg Monroe or Eric Bledsoe

Aug 21, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

John Loyer, Greg Monroe John Loyer, Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe have been linked since the beginning of free agency in July, and not for reasons either of them are pleased with.

Both players are restricted free agents, meaning their respective teams have the right to match any offer they may receive from someone else. But the mere threat of that prevented other teams from tying up their free agent spending power with offer sheets that ultimately may not have resulted in getting the player they desired.

Now, both Bledsoe and Monroe are considering playing with their current teams next season on a one-year qualifying offer, in order to pursue more lucrative deals as unrestricted free agents next summer — a decision which would come with it a fair amount of risk. An injury or sub-par season could lower the amount they would receive on their next long-term deal, and should something horrific happen, there wouldn’t be that huge chunk of guaranteed dollars to fall back on that would provide for a completely secure future.

The last option before playing out next season on a one-year deal would be to try to land somewhere in a sign-and-trade scenario, where theoretically a four-year max contract that their current teams aren’t willing to offer could be secured. But increasingly, that seems like more and more of a long shot.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“I think any one of us would be wary of getting involved in a trade for either player,” the GM said. “Their teams overvalue them in terms of making trades, they don’t want to give them away for nothing. There’s no reason to give up significant assets for players who probably will be available next summer. That doesn’t mean a deal can’t get done, but it is complicated.” …

Both Monroe and Bledsoe are said to want deals in the range of five years and the maximum, but Bledsoe is being offered four years and $48 million. Monroe denied a report he was offered five years, $60 million by Detroit. Teams are, naturally, not eager to shell out that kind of money while also giving up players.

Teams have all the leverage in the restricted free agency process, but playing for the qualifying offer turns things around to where the players have the advantage. The problem is the amount of risk associated with that decision, but for guys like Bledsoe and Monroe who feel like they deserve contracts at or near the max, they may see it as the only realistic option.

  1. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Maybe a team would like one of those guys to play for them THIS season?
    Maybe a team is willing to offer the max and wants to avoid the BS next off-season?

    • eventhorizon04 - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Exactly. For example, if you’re a championship contender like the Thunder who would like an upgrade on the roster over Kendrick Perkins because Kevin Durant is approaching free agency, there’s an excellent reason to trade for Monroe now rather than just hoping he chooses your team a year from now.

      I don’t think it’s guaranteed Monroe will get traded, but I don’t think it’s impossible either.

      • muhangis - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:58 AM

        Except the Thunder are freakin cheap. I hope Durant leaves on them in ’16

  2. rrhoe - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    The problem as I see it is neither player is worth a max contract to begin with.

    • 2016olympics - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Fair point. I think the problem those players have is seeing a guy like Gordon Hayward being one.

      • muhangis - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:00 AM

        And Chandler Parson’s ridiculous amount.

        *go ahead every white person here, thumbs down me.. I dare you lol

      • twinfan24 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        What does race have to do with whether or not we agree that anyone’s contract was ridiculous? Quit making everything about race. Teams sign players of every race to stupid contracts in every major sport.

  3. 2016olympics - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    If a team trades for one of these guys now, won’t they then have the upper-hand on retaining them next off-season (i.e. more years and more money)?

  4. clevelandrox - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    LOL, why do they always use that pic for Monroe…

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Caught him in the middle of rolling his eyes at another Josh Smith 3 pointer…

  5. dablakdrphil - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    My personal opinion is Bledsoe “could” be a Max level guy but not right now. He hasn’t shown good durability to hold up to a max contract standard. I still would’ve hopped on that guaranteed $12 million a year…should he prove to be a max guy during that contract length then demand that type of money and by that time should PHX still decline to offer the max either force a trade or wait it out in Free Agency by 2018

    Monroe I feel is not worth $20 million a year plus. He’s very good and skilled as a big man. I see him more of a 12-$14 million a year player. But I guess only time will tell

  6. ocgunslinger - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    If they have the confidence in their game AND are willing to take a risk…..why not? That is what life is all about. If they think the “Risk vs Reward” is to take that gamble, pick a team in free agency and life may or may not turn out to be good but they have the opportunity to take charge of their professional life. Winners do that.

  7. muhangis - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:06 AM

    Yea I don’t buy the “risk” argument, most players are more confident in themselves than that.

    But if I were their agent (Monroe or Bledsoe), I’d try to push to the front office… hey do a 1 yr contract, with a 2nd yr option at $12.5 M next year, and $13 M for the option year.

    .. I think both sides win. I mean if you’re Detroit no way you want to lose an excellent player in Monroe for nothing, and same with Eric Bledsoe for Phoenix.

  8. tomasekradek - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:58 AM

    To me it’s like this, pretty simple math.

    Monroe/Bledsoe take 5M (QO for Monroe knowing Bledsoe get less) this year and after the season maybe get something like 60/4….combined it’s 65M for next 5 years
    They can sign for lets say 48/4 this year and after that deal expires they sign let’s say those 60/4 (15m/year)…. that’s combined 63M for next 5 years.

    I know that those numbers may end up pretty different since it depends on performances, injuries etc. but I think it’s realistic scenario. My point is that money can be pretty much the same for those 5 years and as mentioned, there is always serious risk of down season or injury. So I think if they sign QO, they probalby don’t want to play for their respektive teams.

  9. johnheisman - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I have watched Detroit and Monroe and I don’t see him as a top player. His stats are better than I realized and he has good size BUT his team is not competitive and when I have watched he is not doing anything special to impact the game. To me if you are a top player it is noticeable and your team competes. When I see his team, he is cashing checks and putting up stats when it doesn’t matter.

    I am sure a change of scenery or a new coach can help, but I don’t see him carrying a team.

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