After changing the direction of the franchise with a new head coach and head of basketball operations, it’s time to make some big decisions. It seems that the first major one for the Detroit Pistons is to not re-sign or even compete in the free agency market for Greg Monroe.
The three-big man lineup that included Monroe, Drummond and Josh Smith didn’t really work out for the Pistons last season. Monroe did put on some nice numbers (15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds) but his per minute numbers dropped, and with Josh Smith signed for three more years for $42 million, it makes more sense to thin out the front court and start playing Smith in a position that’s less harmful for him from the offensive standpoint.
Monroe is looking for something close to max contract. A restricted free agent, the Pistons are unlikely to pursue signing a new deal with him, and it’s not going to make Monroe any less desirable in the open market. He is young (still not 24) and productive big men who are decent defensively while showing some nice moves in the post are an asset quite a few teams will be happy to land and pay for.
The Los Angeles Lakers have the cap space and the need for someone like Monroe and the Charlotte Bobcats out looking to give players some big contract should be in the running for Monroe, although him and Jefferson might step on each other’s toes.
The New Orleans Pelicans is another interesting option, as they’re looking for a big man to pair up with Anthony Davis. This one feels like a possible sign-and-trade deal. The Pistons’ biggest flaw is being unable to stretch the floor, meaning a lack of shooters. The Pelicans have Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, so we might see something happening there, although there are other teams interested in Gordon.