On possible reason the Detroit Pistons haven’t worked out a deal with restricted free agent big man Greg Monroe could be the presence of forward Josh Smith. The Pistons signed Smith to a four-year, $54 million contract last summer and the two proved to be a poor fit together. That’s why there has been a lot of talk about a potential trade of one of the two talented players.
In fact, Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors believes the future of Smith is tied directly to the future of Monroe.
It’s funny, because if I recall correctly, in their latest reports on the matter, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe cast starkly conflicting pictures of the chances this comes up again. I think Woj essentially said no way, while Lowe suggested it was a distinct possibility. In any case, I wouldn’t be shocked, but I’d imagine much of it is tied to Greg Monroe. If Monroe’s gone or takes the qualifying offer, Smith is far more valuable than he otherwise would be to Detroit.
Monroe reportedly wants out of Detroit, which is why he has only pursued sign-and-trades rather than attempting to sign an offer sheet with another team in fear the Pistons would match. That’s also why he will reportedly be signing the Pistons’ qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Smith went 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 41.9% from the field, 26.4% from three and 53.2% from the charity stripe 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.
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