Last year, the Detroit Pistons and Greg Monroe couldn’t come to an agreement about a long term deal, so he signed a qualifying offer. The team wants to keep him around, but Monroe probably wants to see what’s waiting for him in free agency.
Monroe wanted a max deal while waiting as a restricted free agent for someone to make the Pistons an offer they can’t refuse. It didn’t come, Monroe played hard ball, settling for $5.4 million, around $7 million less than what the Pistons were offering him per season, figuring he’d make it up in free agency. But did Monroe do enough last season to earn that max contract?
Teams aren’t that worried about handing out max deals this offseason because of the pay rise and salary cap bump of 2016 and yet the Pistons do have some things to consider when giving Monroe a huge deal. The biggest one is when Andre Drummond is up for his extension, or keeping Brandon Jennings around past 2016, which is another big question.
Monroe was as productive as always: 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds per game. A solid scorer in the low post, but still a pretty poor defender and rarely outstanding. A good big man to have, but not the kind you build a franchise around. That’s what a max deal should represent, but the NBA doesn’t always work according to the rules and guidelines everyone should follow.
Monroe didn’t show the Pistons anything new regarding his ability to make the max contract worth it. However, they might be the only team willing to offer him that much (and staying on a team is more lucrative than finding a new home), so seeing Monroe playing for the Pistons a while longer won’t be too surprising.