Mar 15, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) is defended by Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) in the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Indiana won in overtime 112-104. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Monroe rumors: Detroit Pistons have leverage

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When former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy took over as head coach and president of the Detroit Pistons, there was one big issue he had to make a decision on – what to do with restricted free agent Greg Monroe. Although he has addressed other issues first – the Pistons have signed Los Angeles Lakers’ swingman Jodie Meeks, Washington Wizards’ guard Cartier Martin, Sacramento Kings’ big man Aaron Gray, Oklahoma City Thunder wing Caron Butler and Chicago Bulls’ point guard D.J. Augustin – Monroe remains a free agent.

One of the reasons Monroe hasn’t drawn as much interest as some thought because the Pistons are in control. Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders explains Van Gundy and the Pistons have all of the leverage because Monroe is a restricted free agent.

The worst-case scenario for Detroit is Monroe deciding to sign the $5.5 million qualifying offer for the 2014-15 campaign and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, where Van Gundy wouldn’t have the leverage to match an offer. But even in this scenario, Detroit would still have the ability to offer more money than any team in the hunt in 2015.

Leverage here is clearly with the Pistons, especially since the list of teams around the league with the necessary cap space needed to poach Monroe away from Detroit continues to dwindle by the day…

…Restricted free agency is a game of strategy. While Monroe has his own set of options, Van Gundy and the Pistons are in complete control.

Monroe put up 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the field and 65.7% from the free throw line last season.

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Tags: Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe NBA Free Agency Stan Van Gundy

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