The swirling Greg Monroe rumors have quieted drastically as of late, but the Forward-Center remains on the market as a restricted free agent of the Detroit Pistons.
Current Pistons head honcho, San Van Gundy has said publicly that his desire is to keep Monroe in Detroit in the 2014/2015 season and beyond, however the first of August has come and gone and the two sides may be further apart then they have ever been.
According to a recent podcast appearance from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Monroe and the team have been working to put together a sign-and-trade deal.
He also indicated that Monroe would prefer to play elsewhere other than Detroit:
“Detroit has tried to help him with some sign-and-trade possibilities around the league. Monroe doesn’t really have a great interest in going back and playing with the Pistons. But if they’re going to move him in a sign-and-trade, they’ve got to get value for him. And they’ve got to get back some significant players, some significant talent, to compensate for that loss. They haven’t been able to find a deal for him.”
“They haven’t been able to find a deal for him. He could take what’s called a qualifying offer and then play one year and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. But that’s risky. You’re risking injury. You’re on a one-year deal when you could right now get the security of a long-term extension.”
“They’ve talked to Atlanta. I believe they talked to Phoenix for a while. Those are the two off the top of my head that they had conversations with and that there was interest. Portland had some interest early on but those teams moved on and they realized, you know, again, they could have signed Monroe to an offer sheet but Detroit would have likely matched it. They weren’t just going to let him leave for nothing.”
Monroe’s unwillingness to settle for less is understandable. He has been one of the best young big men in the league over the past few years, but Detroit has never quite treated him like a franchise player. Tension between the two sides intensified when Detroit gave huge money to Josh Smith last offseason.
Monroe has already asked that Smith be traded, and the Pistons reportedly spoke to the Kings at length on that front, but a deal didn’t come together. If Monroe really wants out, a sign-and-trade does appear to be the only way to do it, since nobody is extending a big offer sheet at this point in the summer.
In the end, Monroe has reasons to be frustrated, both on the court and off of it.