The Pistons recently upped their offer to Greg Monroe from a five-year, $60MM package to one that’s slightly more lucrative than the four-year, $54MM contract that Josh Smith signed last summer, but negotiations have stalled, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The David Falk client remains in limbo, like fellow restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, as Detroit’s power to match any offer from another team appears to have scared off suitors.
Falk has been widely expected to seek a max contract for the 24-year-old big man, though many around the league don’t believe he’s worthy of one. Philadelphia is the only team other than Detroit that possesses the cap flexibility to make such an offer sheet at this point, and there have been no indications that the Sixers are willing to do so.
Monroe’s interest in returning to the Pistons reportedly isn’t that strong, but while the Pistons have explored the sign-and-trade market for him with teams including the Blazers, Hawks and Pelicans, no deals have come close to materializing. The Magic and Cavs were linked to Monroe at the beginning of free agency, but Cleveland has since acquired LeBron James and is zeroing in on Kevin Love, and Orlando’s interest was “lukewarm at best,” as Ellis wrote in July.
Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy was in frequent contact with Falk shortly after taking his post in Detroit this spring, and while he reiterated last month that Monroe was still in the team’s plans, Van Gundy admitted the process has left him nervous. Still, the Pistons wield control over where he’ll play next season. That’s true even if Monroe takes the drastic and unlikely step of signing his one-year qualifying offer for less than $5.5MM, a maneuver that would allow him to hit unrestricted free agency in 2015.