The Detroit Pistons still have not made a decision on restricted free agent big man Greg Monroe. They could be waiting for Monroe to sign an offer sheet and then decide whether or not match the deal to keep Monroe, could be waiting to move Monroe in a sign-and-trade or even could be trying to deal another player, perhaps forward Josh Smith, to get a deal done with Monroe.
Monroe isn’t without options himself. Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders points out that Monroe could simply sign his qualifying offer, which would pay him $5.5 million for the 2014-2015 season and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015, leaving him free to sign with any team.
Everything coming out of Detroit points to newly crowned Pistons president of basketball operations and head coach Stan Van Gundy matching any offer received for Monroe’s services. Van Gundy fully understands he’s in a strongly leveraged position and there’s no need to rush the process. This is a business decision and not one regarding any aspect of Monroe’s game on the floor.
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.
The Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards have all showed various degrees of interest in Monroe, but those teams have seemingly either moved on simply can’t afford him without pulling off some sort of trade.
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.