Greg Monroe Rumors

Pistons Notes: Monroe, GM Search, Gores

April 20 at 9:05am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pistons need to hire a new GM after Joe Dumars stepped down from the position. Whoever takes the job has one big decision looming in regards to what do do with Greg Monroe, writes Dave Pemberton of The Oakland Press. Monroe is a restricted free agent, only 23 years old, and coming off a season where he averaged 15.2 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Pemberton opines that Monroe’s agent David Falk will seek at least $15MM a season for his client. The article also uses Roy Hibbert‘s situation from two years ago as a reference for what tactics Falk might employ to up Monroe’s final price tag.

More from Detroit:

  • With a final record of 29-53, and the team missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season, not many things went right in Detroit this season. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press hands out his final grades for the players and organization.
  • In a separate article, Ellis examines what qualifications the team is looking for in their new GM.
  • David Mayo of MLive looks at the ownership tenure of Tom Gores, and what the owner needs to accomplish this summer in order to put a positive imprint on the franchise.
  • The possibility of Isiah Thomas becoming the Pistons GM wouldn’t sit right with former player Adrian Dantley, writes The Detroit News. In a radio interview Dantley called Thomas a “con man.” Dantley also said, “He has a way of tricking people, and he tricked a lot of people.

Central Notes: Bucks, Monroe, Billups, Pistons

April 17 at 8:47pm CDT By Alex Lee

Earlier tonight we broke down the bevy of news coming out of Cleveland. Here is what is going on in the rest of the Central Division on Thursday night:

  • Once the dust settles from the Bucks ownership change, many league insiders expect the new regime to make changes in the front office and on the coaching staff in Milwaukee, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. As Kyler notes, general manager John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway are both under contract for two more seasons. Head coach Larry Drew inked a four-year, $10MM pact last summer.
  • Soon-to-be restricted free agent Greg Monroe spent what might be his last season with the Pistons keeping his head down and concentrating on his own production, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News.
  • Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press suggests the Pistons would probably exercise their $2.5MM team option on Chauncey Billups for next season if the 37-year-old elects not to retire, but it seems questionable that the team would commit to that kind of money to him.
  • Several Pistons players conceded that chemistry issues plagued the team all season, with Brandon Jennings admitting that he never would have agreed to come to Detroit last summer had he known how things would turn out, writes David Mayo of MLive.com. Based on player comments, Mayo infers that veteran Josh Smith, the team’s highest paid player, is one of the reasons for the team’s fractured locker room. In a separate piece, Ellis concurs.

And-Ones: Young, Cavs, Pistons, Turner

April 13 at 8:18pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kentucky freshman James Young hasn’t made a decision on if he’s entering the NBA Draft yet, reports The Kentucky Advocate Messenger. Young’s godfather, Sean Mahone said, “I am not even certain what the deadline is for deciding. That shows how we are not fixated on the draft. That is just an innocent admission of where we are and what we have been thinking about. It’s just been chaos the last few weeks during this incredible run with a lot of late night worries and anxiety and then some great, great moments. That was our focus, not next year.”

More from around the league:

  • The Heat were offered Evan Turner in a trade by the Sixers before the trade deadline with Udonis Haslem being the only significant piece they would have had to send in return, writes Dan Le Batard of The Miami Herald. The Heat didn’t make the trade, at least in part because they didn’t like how it would look to deal one of the club’s longest tenured players, reports Le Batard.
  • According to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link), whoever takes over as GM of the Pistons needs to clear out the logjam at power forward. Greg Monroe is looking for a big pay raise and Josh Smith doesn’t mesh well with Brandon Jennings and Monroe, opines Wolstat.
  • The Cavaliers are going to have to figure out if Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving can play together, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. It’s not the players personalities that are the problem, but rather that their ball-dominant games are too alike, opines Pluto.
  • The Lakers Pau Gasol is officially done for the season, reports Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (Twitter link). Team doctors had told Gasol that he was still a few weeks away from returning to action.
  • Hofstra senior guard Zeke Upshaw has signed with agent Brian J. Bass, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link).

Free Agent Stock Watch: Greg Monroe

March 27 at 4:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Most restricted free agents as valuable as Greg Monroe is are virtual shoo-ins to return to their teams. That’s not the case with the 6’11″ former Georgetown Hoya whose departure would appear to offer the Pistons the easiest way to dismantle their clumsy, super-sized frontcourt. Much hinges on just who the Pistons will have running their basketball operations this summer, with the job security of Joe Dumars in doubt. Most would probably conclude that the teaming of Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith has been a failed experiment, but even if Smith and Drummond continue to be unmovable assets, for completely different reasons, it doesn’t necessarily mean Monroe is a goner.

The Pistons could sign Monroe this summer and trade him at the deadline, although his statistical decline this season suggests that his value would take a hit if Detroit continues to play him with its current set of misfit parts. His points, rebounds and assists per game — and per minute — are all down, and his PER is at a career-low 17.9. Monroe no doubt bears some responsibility for his own declining numbers, but it seems most logical to suggest that playing out of position and amid tight offensive spacing has been the primary reason behind his regression. He might not be all that enthusiastic about playing under these conditions for another year, but the Pistons wield the power to match any offer Monroe takes from another club.

Still, part of what makes Monroe such an intriguing case is the strong possibility that other clubs find him significantly more valuable than whoever will be making basketball decisions for Detroit does. Agent David Falk is averse to extensions for less than the maximum salary, and it never appeared as though the Pistons were willing to go that high. Still, Monroe is only 23 years old, and with averages of 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game with a 19.8 PER over the past three seasons, there’s plenty of reason to believe that at least one team would be willing to give him the max. That’s especially true since Monroe qualifies for a max that’s equivalent to only 25% of the salary cap, significantly less than the max salaries that more experienced players can make. The precise amount won’t be clear until after the July Moratorium, but it will likely entail a starting salary close to $14MM a year.

Falk has mastered the art of linking a client with the team that holds him in higher regard than most, having done so most recently with Roy Hibbert of the Pacers. Hibbert, who like Monroe is a former Georgetown big man, wasn’t widely considered worthy of a max deal when the Blazers agreed to sign him to an offer sheet for that amount in 2012, forcing the Pacers to quickly swoop in with an identical offer to retain him.

Five Eastern Conference teams are reportedly already planning to pursue Monroe, and one of them is probably the Wizards, who would apparently like to bring him back to the same city where he played his college ball. The Bobcats and Warriors had interest in trading for Monroe at the deadline, an idea that Detroit resisted short of an extraordinary offer. The resistance to part with Monroe in advance of his free agency indicates that Dumars and company are by no means anxious to see him go. The Pistons are hoping to re-sign him to a contract similar to the four-year, $49MM deal the Thunder gave Serge Ibaka in 2012, as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote in February. Aldridge believes the team will settle for paying the max if another club makes him such an offer, but given Detroit’s inability to find a taker for Smith, it’s not unreasonable to believe otherwise. A max deal for Monroe would require a commitment of nearly half the salary cap to two parts of a three-man unit that simply hasn’t worked.

The possibility of a sign-and-trade is in play. The Pistons could use their ability to match offers as leverage to gain assets from Monroe suitors. Dumars was on the other end of such a transaction this summer, when he acquired Brandon Jennings for three players including Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton, a pair of inexpensive young talents with upside. Detroit can’t expect to receive a player of Monroe’s caliber in this sort of swap, but the big man’s status as a restricted free agent means the club could reap assets more valuable than the ones conveyed in many sign-and-trades.

Monroe is certainly no superstar, but a young, productive interior player who stands 6’11″ needn’t be a marquee name to command a max deal. His down year this season raises legitimate concerns, but I think he’ll nonetheless be able to sign a max contract in the summer. Whether it’s the Pistons or another team that winds up shelling out the money depends on just who is running the front office in Detroit. If the new GM is a confident, aggressive sort who feels like there’d be an avenue to solve the team’s frontcourt mess even with Monroe on the books for max money, the big man will stay put. If owner Tom Gores installs someone who wants to play it safe and take the path of least resistance, Monroe will be wearing a different uniform.

Odds & Ends: Monroe, Humphries, Williams

February 26 at 12:48pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Five teams, most of them in the Eastern Conference, are planning to pursue Greg Monroe when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling. The source predicts Monroe will sign early in July, which often isn’t the case with restricted free agents. There’s more from Zwerling amid our latest look around the league:

  • The Celtics have interest in signing-and-trading Kris Humphries this summer, Zwerling writes in the same piece. Danny Ainge is reportedly high on the 10th-year veteran who’s expressed a desire to stay in Boston, so it seems there’s no guarantee Humphries will go elsewhere this summer, even as the C’s appear to be preparing for that possibility.
  • Marvin Williams is comfortable in Utah and wants to remain with the Jazz, observes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who figures that was one of the reasons the team reportedly turned down at least one offer for a late first-round pick in exchange for Williams.
  • Pelicans GM Dell Demps expressed confidence in his core earlier this week, but Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com, in an Insider-only piece, urges Demps to shake up the team in the offseason.
  • Justin Barrasso of WEEI.com examines the transition Brad Stevens is making from college to the NBA game, noting that most college coaches who’ve entered the pros have done so with franchises far less stable than the Celtics are.

Ford’s Latest: Knicks, Rockets, W’s, Pelicans

February 19 at 11:32am CDT By Chuck Myron

Chad Ford of ESPN.com takes an Insider-only look at the trade market for a handful of teams with little more than 24 hours remaining before Thursday’s 2:00pm Central trade deadline. We’ll round up the highlights here:

  • The Knicks are shopping Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert and Beno Udrih as they seek to upgrade their point guard spot. Ford mentions Jeremy Lin as a long shot possibility for New York, but Houston is adamant it doesn’t want to give him up. Trading for Lin or Kyle Lowry would require the Knicks to relinquish Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • The Warriors have been listening to offers for Harrison Barnes, and they’ve gone as far as to counter a few of them, Ford hears. Greg Monroe, Thaddeus YoungTristan ThompsonKenneth FariedJohn Henson and Amir Johnson all intrigue the W’s as possible targets in exchange for Barnes, Ford writes. Golden State is also enamored with Kevin Love, as most teams around the league are.
  • Ford describes David Lee as available, too, but he notes there isn’t much of a market for him, which makes sense, given his bloated contract.
  • Part of the Pelicans‘ motivation for exploring trades for Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans is the feeling that they could fall back into position to snag a top-five pick in this year’s draft if both guys are off the roster, according to Ford. Their first-rounder goes to the Sixers if it’s No. 6 or worse. Chris Mannix of SI.com wrote earlier this morning that New Orleans was looking to move either Gordon or Evans, but not both.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Pelicans, Afflalo

February 19 at 9:42am CDT By Chuck Myron

Every Celtics player, including Rajon Rondo, is available for the right price, Chris Mannix of SI.com reports in a pair of tweets. Still, some rival executives believe Boston is overvaluing Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, for whom Danny Ainge is demanding first-round picks, as Mannix writes in a full piece. Mannix also notes that the Celtics would prefer to keep Kris Humphries through the deadline. There’s plenty more in Mannix’s dispatch covering several of the league’s most active teams in advance of Thursday’s deadline, so let’s dive in:

  • The Pelicans are making a strong effort to trade either Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans, Mannix hears, contradicting what coach Monty Williams told reporters earlier this week.
  • Mannix adds Arron Afflalo to the list of players the Bobcats are eyeing. Charlotte is apparently willing to absorb a player-friendly contract as part of a deal that brings in an impact player, Mannix writes.
  • The Pistons like Evan Turner, and they may be willing to offer the Sixers the first-round draft pick they’re looking for, according to Mannix. Still, it will take “an overwhelming offer” to pry Greg Monroe from Detroit, which would like to trade Josh Smith instead but is finding no takers.
  • Andre Miller is “gone one way or another,” but that may be the only trade Denver makes, in spite of a heavy volume of calls coming in from other teams, Mannix writes. The Nuggets don’t appear inclined to auction off Kenneth Faried, according to Mannix. His report contrasts with what teams are telling Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who hears that anyone outside of Ty Lawson is available (Twitter link).
  • Rival teams are interested in Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Nets are unwilling to trade the rights to the former second-round pick who’s playing in Turkey.
  • Kirk Hinrich has been drawing more interest than Mike Dunleavy, but executives around the league believe the Bulls probably won’t deal Hinrich and risk deepening the divide between Tom Thibodeau and the front office. Dunleavy is similarly off the table.
  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been “determined” to find another star to go along with Kyrie Irving, but the league appears to have lukewarm feelings about the young players on the Cavs, according to Mannix, which would appear to make a blockbuster unlikely.
  • There’s been friction between Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala, Mannix hears, but rival executives nonetheless believe it will take a massive offer to acquire Barnes, Mannix notes, echoing what Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said.

Ford’s Latest: Magic, Cavs, Bobcats

February 18 at 12:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Victor Oladipo may be the only Magic player unavailable for a trade, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who adds that the team is looking for multiple first-round picks or young players for Arron Afflalo. Ford believes Orlando will indeed find a taker for Afflalo, but that’s in contrast to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today indicating the Magic aren’t that eager to trade him and aren’t hearing from any team with strong interest (Twitter link). The Magic’s price is much lower for Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson, Ford writes, and while Amick tweets that the Magic is focusing most of its trade attention on those two, Orlando hasn’t gotten anywhere with either of them yet, Amick says.

Ford has much more in his latest Insider-only piece, and we’ll hit the highlights here:

  • The Cavs and Bobcats appear to be the only teams capable of trading away a 2014 lottery pick that would actually do so, according to Ford. If the Cavs are determined to make a playoff push, they’ll offer Dion Waiters and their 2014 first-round pick in search of veteran help, Ford writes.
  • There’s nothing major happening on the Ersan Ilyasova front, Ford hears, naming Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour as the Bucks most likely to be traded. Milwaukee is reluctant to let go of Caron Butler, who’s a native of nearby Racine, Ford adds.
  • The Sixers want “significantly” more than just a first-round pick for Thaddeus Young, which has been dissuading some teams from trading for him, Ford writes.
  • Jeff Green and Brandon Bass are the names that come up most frequently in trade discussions involving the Celtics, according to Ford.
  • Several GMs tell Ford that the Lakers appear willing to discuss any player on their roster short of Kobe Bryant.
  • Everyone outside of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas is available from the Kings, with Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Jimmer Fredette the primary bait, Ford writes.
  • It’s unlikely the Jazz trade Gordon Hayward, Ford says, naming Marvin Williams as the team’s most likely trade candidate.
  • Teams are looking to acquire a package of both Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey, but the Pistons remain unwilling to deal Monroe, as multiple GMs tell Ford.

Central Rumors: Dumars, Monroe, Cavs

February 10 at 1:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

There has been chatter “for weeks” that Pistons president of basketball ops Joe Dumars is on shaky ground, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who adds that no one around the league would be surprised if he’s replaced in time for next season. Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears similar sentiments about Dumars’ job security, so Maurice Cheeks might not be the only one heading out of Detroit (Twitter link). There’s more on the team that made the first coaching change of the season on Sunday amid our look at the Central Division:

  • The Pistons continue to turn away calls about Monroe, according to Lowe, who thinks the team need not be in a hurry to pull off any major trade.
  • The Cavs are willing to trade just about anyone on the roster short of Kyrie Irving, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his Insider-only “Tank Rank” piece. Ford casts Dion Waiters as the likely bait for a deal that would help improve the club, though it’s not clear whether that’s based on his reporting or if that’s merely educated speculation.
  • New Cavs GM David Griffin will lead the way in the club’s approach to the trade deadline, but it’ll be a collaborative approach, with owner Dan Gilbert involved in the decision-making, a source tells Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • Pacers players gave a lukewarm response when Kyler asked them about the signing of Andrew Bynum. Kyler hears that the Pacers won’t hesitate to waive the former All-Star and his $1MM guaranteed salary if he violates the club’s “low tolerance” policy for him.
  • Terry Foster of The Detroit News wouldn’t be surprised to see Dumars step down this summer, realizing his fate. The News scribe believes the team’s decision to appoint John Loyer as interim coach for the rest of the season, rather than conduct an immediate search, signals owner Tom Gores’ lack of faith in Dumars.

Aldridge’s Latest: Gordon, Jackson, Monroe

February 10 at 12:37pm CDT By Chuck Myron

TNT’s David Aldridge’s lengthy “Morning Tip” column on NBA.com has a strong trade deadline focus this week, as is only appropriate with 10 days left before the big day. We’ll dive into the highlights here:

  • The Pelicans have been shopping Eric Gordon “for a while,” Aldridge writes, but an opposing GM says they’re not finding takers because rival teams realize that injuries have cut into the 25-year-old’s athleticism.
  • Aldridge expects the Pistons to try to convince Phil Jackson, who served as a special advisor to the team this summer, to coach the club, but Aldridge notes it’s unlikely the Zen Master would do so.
  • The Pistons aren’t giving up Greg Monroe unless it’s part of a blockbuster trade, and they’re hoping they can re-sign him this summer to a contract similar to the four-year, $49.4MM deal that Serge Ibaka inked with the Thunder in 2012. If not, Aldridge expects the Pistons to swallow hard and match a max offer sheet from another team.
  • Kyle Lowry will probably remain with the Raptors through the deadline, but that’s not an indication that the Raptors are willing to pay a heavy price to re-sign him this summer, Aldridge writes.
  • Aldridge hears plenty of trade chatter surrounding Kenneth Faried, and though the Nuggets deny it, Aldridge thinks there could be something to it. He’s up for an extension this summer, and if he doesn’t get one, he’ll be a restricted free agent in 2015. Denver wouldn’t be willing to give him an outsized payday as it stands, given its concerns about his defense, Aldridge writes.
  • Grizzlies management is high on Ed Davis, who’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, and Aldridge examines how that affects the team’s willingness to retain Zach Randolph. Aldridge says the Wizards would prefer to acquire Davis rather than Randolph if they had a choice.
  • Patty Mills will be a free agent at season’s end, but even amid increased playing time with the Spurs this season, he’s giving no thought to leaving for another team where he could have a larger role or make more money, according to Aldridge.