In the NBA, talented young big men don’t usually hit the market and if they somehow do, teams usually jump all over them. That’s why the lack of interest (or at least interest that is legitimate enough to result in an offer) in Detroit Pistons’ big man Greg Monroe is surprising. Monroe is just 24 years old and has averaged 14.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game over the course of his four-year career.
Of course, Monroe is a restricted free agent, which makes things difficult. The Pistons can match an offer sheet Monroe and retain him. Plus, although the Pistons continue to praise Monroe, they could be waiting to deal him in a sign-and-trade. Still, it is a surprise teams haven’t been in deeper conversations with Monroe.
As Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders explains, teams are weary of tying up future cap space in players like Monroe.
However, the problem for Monroe this summer hasn’t been concerns of work ethic, durability, attitude or respect levels. The issue was, before the available money started drying up, teams being reluctant to tie up valuable cap space while Detroit had three days to match any offer with other free agent options coming off the board.
The prevailing thought still holds that Monroe is a guy Detroit wants in its program long-term. Having the emerging Andre Drummond and the talented (but coming off a brutal year) Josh Smith on the roster just reinforces the team’s decision to allow the market to play out naturally without interruption.
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.