As soon as former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was named head coach and president of the Detroit Pistons, many figured power forward Greg Monroe’s days were numbered.
Although Van Gundy has defended Monroe and called her and center Andre Drummond “an ideal pairing,” Monroe is a restricted free agent and Josh Smith, who the Pistons gave a four-year, $54 million deal to a year ago, is better suited as a four like Monroe and will be very hard to trade.
If Van Gundy and new Pistons’ general manager do decide to trade Monroe, there will be no shortage of suitors. The Charlotte Hornets would reportedly love to pair Monroe with Al Jefferson and the Washington Wizards could get involved as well.
Another team that could have quite a bit of cap space and plenty of holes to fill that could be a player for Monroe is the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders.
The Charlotte Hornets have been rumored to have an interest in pairing Monroe with last year’s big free agent acquisition Al Jefferson in what might be a defensive-oriented head coach’s (as Steve Clifford is) worst nightmare, but other teams with cap space like the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to inquire about his services once the July free agency period commences. With up to $29 million in cap space and as many as 11 roster spots to fill, we have yet to see what the plan may be in Los Angeles. They’ve always been a franchise that prided itself on having skilled big men, but it isn’t clear where – or even if – the team intends to allot their resources this offseason.
Monroe put up 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season.