Pistons, Pelicans Talk Monroe, Anderson Swap

The Pistons and Pelicans have discussed a sign-and-trade that would send Greg Monroe to his hometown of New Orleans in exchange for Ryan Anderson, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link). An earlier report indicated that the Pelicans had inquired about the possibility of a sign-and-trade deal involving Monroe, but it wasn’t clear if the Pistons were receptive.

There’s reportedly a “high possibility” the Pistons will swing a sign-and-trade involving Monroe, a restricted free agent, if he receives a max offer sheet from another team, and the Hawks, Magic and Blazers have all shown interest since free agency began overnight. The Lakers are also expected to have interest and the Cavs are apparently mulling a run as well at the fifth-ranked player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings.

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said recently that he’s spent the majority of his time since joining the team this spring on Monroe’s impending free agency and has been in consistent contact with Monroe’s agent, David Falk. Anderson played just 22 games this past season and underwent neck surgery after a frightening on-court injury, but he’s been one the league’s quintessential stretch power forwards in recent seasons and would seemingly be a better fit with the shooting-deficient Pistons than Monroe is. Still, Monroe, 24, is one of the league’s best up-and-coming big men.

Anderson is set to make slightly less than $8.5MM next season, so taking back Monroe by himself would represent an uneven swap for New Orleans. The Pelicans have limited cap flexibility that’s in line to be swallowed up by their acquisition of Omer Asik, and they’ll have to clear more room just to make the Asik deal work. I’d expect other players to be heading the Pistons’ way should an Anderson-Monroe trade happen.

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