In an offseason where max contracts are a trending word and teams aren’t afraid of handing them out, Greg Monroe and his demands are meeting a large group of suitors, including the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers.
The five-year veteran played center during his first three seasons in the league, moving to power forward when Andre Drummond became a more meaningful part of their lineup. The Pistons have made it quite clear they want Drummond to be their center of the present and future. Monroe? He probably made up his mind about leaving when he didn’t get the max deal he wanted last season.
A restricted free agent, the Pistons felt no rush to sign Monroe. He wasn’t getting any offers that would have forced the Pistons’ hand, and eventually the player signed the qualifying offer, which meant losing money for one year but hitting free agency sooner than expected, and opening himself up to the opportunity of making the big money he wants.
And it looks like Monroe isn’t going to be one of the players searching a one year deal so he can sign an even more extravagant contract in 2016. He’ll be trying to capitalize on the trend of handing out max deals now, with plenty of interest to go around. The Pistons aren’t one of the teams he’s planning to meet. He’s as good as gone.
The Knicks seem like favorites to sign him, and probably the most eager to do so as well. Monroe should also be a bit more effective and productive (15.5 points per game over the last two seasons) without someone else clogging the lane. With the current set up the New York Knicks have, assuming Kristaps Porzingis isn’t going to play too many minutes right away, Monroe should have plenty of opportunities to score.
The Bucks and Celtics are two other interesting options. Both are teams that surprised by making the playoffs. Both teams are looking for some help in the paint, especially on offense. The Bucks got most of their points from slashing or shooting, without a lot of order. The Celtics might be a bit more organized offensively, but they need help.
The Portland Trail Blazers are getting ready for LaMarcus Aldridge leaving. Who knows, he might eventually stay, but it’s more likely that he’ll join the Spurs or the Lakers, his two preferred destinations. The Lakers have Monroe on their shortlist, but a bit further down the line, and going after him with 100% intent will only happen if other options fail.