It’s quite easy to see things aren’t going smoothly in the negotiations between the Detroit Pistons and Greg Monroe. That max contract he’s looking for isn’t coming at the moment, and in the end the restricted free agent might simply sign a qualifying offer that means he loses money this season, but his unrestricted free agency a year from now.
Monroe, a power forward who averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds last season is looking for the max deal for a player who has been in the league for four seasons. While he is quite impressive with his back to the basket and some consider him to be quite similar to Al Jefferson in his offensive style, he doesn’t have too much range and his defense can be abysmal at times, making him not quite the franchise big man he wants to be paid like.
The Pistons might be looking to trade him – they have both him and Josh Smith occupying the same position. It looked bad for the most part last season in the futile attempt to play a three-big man front court, along with Andre Drummond who seems to be the only one the Pistons don’t have any doubts about. Smith has a trade offer from the Sacramento Kings, but the Pistons really looking to move him.
That might mean they’re more concerned with dumping Monroe somehow. The problem is that giving him a max offer makes him untradeable. The only team with the ability to give him the offer sheet he wants at the moment are the Philadelphia 76ers, who don’t have any inclination to sign him. There aren’t that many options to what can happen next, but we’re heading down a road with one possible outcome.
Monroe can sign the one year qualifying offer worth $5.5 million next season. This does mean he loses money compared to what he could make with the Pistons (willing to give him about $12 million a season), but it gives him the right to veto any trade for him, and makes him an unrestricted free agent as early as next summer, which should be quite appealing if he doesn’t want to stay in Detroit anymore.
Monroe probably got a sense of what the market think of him. No one sent the offer sheet to put pressure on the Pistons. Being a free agent next year won’t land him the contract he dreams of either, but at least he’ll have more power and leverage. Qualifying offers aren’t usually the way these things end, but in this particular case, it might be the only remaining solution.