The Pistons have informed teams with interest in trading for Greg Monroe that the big man isn’t available, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That echoes a Monday report that Detroit is strident in its position that it won’t trade Monroe to the Wizards, who apparently covet the soon-to-be restricted free agent.
Stein suggests there’s a strong chance the Pistons and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars will come around to the idea of trading Monroe before the February 20th trade deadline. The team will otherwise face a conundrum in the summer, when the 6’11″ Monroe will be an appealing prize for other teams on the free agent market. The Pistons have the right to match offers, but as Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News surmised this fall, Monroe and agent David Falk could command a deal in line with the four-year, $48MM extension that Derrick Favors signed with the Jazz.
The Pistons had postseason aspirations after acquiring Josh Smith in the offseason, but they’re 18-27 so far, tied with the Knicks for ninth place in the Eastern Conference and a half game behind the Bobcats for the final playoff spot. The addition of Smith, plus the promotion of Andre Drummond to the starting lineup, has given Detroit a front line that lacks shooting touch, helping lead to speculation that a shakeup could be coming. Hoops Rumors readers who voted in a recent poll identified Monroe as the Piston most likely to be traded by a wide margin.