The Pistons are 5-20 with three frontcourt pieces that don’t appear to fit, making them a ripe contender to pull a trade this season. There’s been plenty of chatter in recent days, and we’ll round up the latest here:
- Falk made it clear to Zillgitt, who writes in a full story, that Monroe doesn’t want a trade in part because he wants to honor a commitment he made to Pistons coach/president of basketball ops Stan Van Gundy. Teams have been calling the Pistons about Monroe, but the fifth-year big man continues to stonewall the idea of leaving Detroit. “He made a commitment to Stan (Van Gundy) when he took the qualifying offer that he would work as hard as he could and help the team as best that he could and he would keep his mind open and at the end of the season, he would evaluate all of his options,” Falk said. “That was his plan in July, and that’s his plan in December and that will probably be his plan in February and will be his plan when the season ends.”
- Monroe will be seeking the best fit and not necessarily the highest payday in free agency this coming summer, as he and Falk have said, Zillgitt writes.
- The Pistons are “shopping” Josh Smith and willing to trade him for the right return, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. The Kings remain interested in Smith, a source tells Goodwill, and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was behind Sacramento’s pursuit from the start, Goodwill adds. Yet while the Kings are still thinking about trying to trade for Smith, they’ve been gradually moving past that idea, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick (video link).
- Greg Monroe says the Pistons would have to initiate discussions about a trade, since he wouldn’t ask for one, as Goodwill notes in the same piece, writing that it’s likely that Pistons GM Jeff Bower asked agent David Falk about his willingness to approve one. Monroe has a de facto no-trade clause this year because he signed his qualifying offer in the summer, and he’d lose his Bird rights if he gave the OK to a trade. Monroe prefers to play out the season as a Piston, agent David Falk told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, who passes along his report in the same video with Amick.
- Detroit asked the Hawks for Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in exchange for Monroe this summer, but Atlanta wasn’t willing to go along with the sign-and-trade idea, Goodwill writes. The Hawks are reportedly set to pursue Monroe in unrestricted free agency this coming summer.
- The Pistons never believed that Monroe would ultimately sign the qualifying offer, according to Goodwill.