Free agent center/power forward Greg Monroe entered this summer looking for a big deal from an NBA team which he has yet to receive. Monroe was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2010. In four seasons with the Pistons, Monroe averaged 14.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Monroe is a restricted free agent which means that the Pistons will have the opportunity to match any offer that a team would give to the four-year vet from Georgetown. The Pistons gave Monroe a one-year qualifying offer for $5.5 million. Monroe could take the offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but he is ready to get paid right now.
Last summer former Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars signed forward Josh Smith to a four-year, $56 million deal. Smith had played the first nine years of his NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks and he never demonstrated that he was a consistent go-to guy there. But Dumars still signed Smith as he expected him to be the catalyst that would get the Pistons back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. That wasn’t the case last season as Detroit finished this past season with a record of 29-53. Smith did manage however to lead the Pistons in scoring as he averaged 16.4 points per game.
Pistons owner Tom Gores grew tired of Dumars and he recently showed him the door. Stan Van Gundy is the Pistons new head coach as well as the president of basketball operations in Motown and he is out to do things his way. Prior to June’s NBA Draft there were rumors that the Pistons were shopping Smith to the Sacramento Kings which never came to fruition. Smith’s contract is not matching his production and it is also handicapping the Pistons.
The Pistons currently have 10 players under contract for next season with Smith leading the way as he is set to earn $13.5 million. Right now the Pistons have roughly $20 million in cap space for next season, but I do not believe that Van Gundy will look to give Monroe a similar max deal to Smith’s while “J-Smooth” is still on the roster.
Dumars had dreams of having a huge front court with Smith, Monroe, and center Andre Drummond which went out of the window early this past season. Drummond just completed his second year in the NBA and he was second in the league last season in rebounding at 13.2 per game. Drummond’s rookie contract is set to expire in 2016 and I can imagine that the Pistons would love to sign him to a maximum deal.
In the meantime Monroe is stuck in limbo; especially being that another NBA team has not come calling for his services. More than likely Monroe will end up signing the Pistons qualifying offer while once again seeking a maximum deal next summer.