When former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy took over as head coach and president of the Detroit Pistons, he knew he’d quickly be faced with a a big decision – the future of restricted free agent of Greg Monroe.
A year ago, the Pistons signed former Atlanta Hawks’ forward Josh Smith to a four-year, $54 million deal. The plan was to play Smith with Monroe and center Andre Drummond in the front court, but that proved to be a poor fit – Smith is better suited as a power forward than a small forward. The Pistons have continued to say they plan to keep Monroe but there’s still a chance they could deal Monroe in a sign-and-trade.
As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out, the Pistons are looking for a “sizable return.”
There is no urgency to get anything done on either Monroe or Bledsoe’s part, especially if it’s a “compromise” deal.
The Pistons have listened to sign-and-trade proposals, which have really gone nowhere, mainly because the Pistons do value Monroe immensely and would want a sizable return in exchange for a deal.
Also like Bledsoe, the Sixers do not seem willing to set a price for Monroe using their cap space, so the Pistons are clearly in the driver’s seat.
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. In his career, Monroe has averaged 14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 50.8% from the field and 67.8% from the charity stripe.