Perhaps the top restricted free agent on the market, Detroit Pistons’ big man Greg Monroe, remains just that. Monroe has indicated he does not want to return to the Pistons and the only way a team could really acquire him is through a sign-and-trade. That market, however, is drying up.
Yahoo Sports and Fox Sports NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski told Buddy Grizzard of Hawks Hoops, the Pistons have talked to the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns about a sign-and-trade for Monroe.
They’ve talked with Atlanta, I believe they talked with Phoenix for a while. Portland had some interest early on, but those teams moved on. They could have signed Monroe to an offer sheet but Detroit would have likely matched it.
Although Wojnarowski believes the Suns have moved on, they still have salary room and could really use a big man like Monroe, perhaps even more than they could use fellow restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe – they acquired Sacramento Kings’ point guard Isaiah Thomas and his new four-year, $27 million contract and still have incumbent starter Goran Dragic. Plus, there have been rumors the Suns believe they can acquire Monroe and still keep Bledsoe, which would likely push them into the Western Conference playoffs a year after just narrowly missing out on the postseason.
Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.7% from the field, 35.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line last season. 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.