Money and contract situations complicate a simple question – is the player good enough to stay or not? The Detroit Pistons aren’t sure whether or not to give Greg Monroe a big contract extension once this season ends, which might cause of chain of events that eventually lands the center with the very interested Washington Wizards.
Monroe, whether he deserves it or not, is going to get a big deal next season. He’s averaging 14.2 points and 8.7 rebounds a game in a crowded frontcourt that includes Andre Drummond and Josh Smith, which has hurt his numbers in his fourth season. However, big men who post near to double double numbers and are only 23 get big deals. Maybe not a max deal, but not far from that.
The Pistons are disappointed from what’s been going on this season (17-24) after making big free agency signings like Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. That disappointment has caused quite a lot of turmoil within the organization and a feeling that there’s a need to shake things up. But how?
Jennings and Smith can’t be moved, and Drummond seems to be their most valuable asset. They’re not too interested in giving Monroe a big deal, thinking about Drummond in the future, but the Pistons have the ability because there isn’t too much money tied up beyond this season, with deals like Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey taking around $17 million off the books.
The Washington Wizards also have a lot of money clearing up next year which right now will take them to a $43 million salary cap hit. They could make a max-offer on Monroe’s contract in the offseason and put the Pistons on the spot with his RFA situation, but it might be smarter for both sides to get a deal done now, which will give the Pistons something instead of losing Monroe for free, while the Wizards can get a piece that makes sure they end up in the playoffs and maybe even get though a round (currently at 20-20).
Right now the most reasonable deals seem to be sending a small forward to Detroit for Monroe, with the Pistons needing a shooter, and freeing up Josh Smith to play as a power forward. Some have considered Otto Porter, a massive disappointment so far, but either Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza make more sense, because they probably make the Pistons better right now, which seems to be their main goal.