As long as Greg Monroe doesn’t sign the qualifying offer to play for the Detroit Pistons for one more season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, all the options, including pulling off a sign and trade with another team, are on the table.
Monroe has until October 1 to sign that qualifying offer, so that means about six weeks of having more time to speculate and for David Falk, Greg Monroe’s agent, to try and engineer some sort of move for a team with enough cap space to include Monroe on the roster. Obviously, Monroe is looking for a max contract, something that the Detroit Pistons and probably every other team in the league aren’t willing to offer him.
The first reporter to write about Monroe taking the qualifying offer was Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today, quite a reliable writer. Zilgitt is based in Washington, which is close to Falk’s base of operations. The “leak” about Monroe taking the QO might be what they’re actually planning to do, but possibly a warning shot to make it clear to the Pistons that after paying him just over $5 million next season, they’ll lose him for nothing next summer.
The Pistons have thought about trading him or Josh Smith. With Andre Drummond on the roster and both Smith and Monroe unhappy about moving to the bench, it’s a problem with a crowded frontcourt. Smith has a contract that’s probably unmovable (although the Sacramento Kings have shown some interest, for some reason, this offseason). But few teams have the cap space to swallow his desired max contract, and even fewer teams would actually like to do so.
Monroe has a problem: He is a good big man, who is probably reliable for a 15-10 kind of double double on most nights, but he isn’t special. He’s solid in the low post and has a good arsenal of moves, but he isn’t a reliable mid range shooter, can’ stretch the floor like general managers love to see these days, is an OK rebounder and is a sub par defender. Making that guy your franchise big man just doesn’t make sense.
In the end? Probably both sides lose. The Pistons won’t get anything for Monroe who’ll become a free agent in 2015, while he will never get that contract he thinks he deserves, and if any team does give it to him, it’ll take some incredible agent work and some very bad GM’ing to make it happen. Right now no one is taking the bait.