WEDNESDAY, 4:00pm: Boston isn’t on the list of teams that Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today hears Monroe will meet with, so it looks like the Celtics are indeed a no-go.
TUESDAY, 8:05am: The Celtics are already out of the running for Monroe, a league source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post, though it’s unclear whether Monroe has canceled his meeting with them.
MONDAY, 1:56pm: The Knicks, unsurprisingly, are the favorites for Monroe, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
SUNDAY, 8:20pm: Greg Monroe, who will become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, will meet with the Celtics, Knicks, Bucks, Lakers and Trail Blazers once free agent negotiations begin Wednesday and seemingly put an end to the idea that he will re-sign with the Pistons, reports Darrell Williams in a story for the Louisiana Advocate.
Though agent David Falk and Monroe have maintained that the Pistons have a shot to keep him, with Monroe going so far as to say at one point that they had the upper hand, he’s never appeared likely to re-sign after taking Detroit’s qualifying offer this past summer. When asked about the Pistons by Williams, Monroe suggested the team is going in a different direction.
“[Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy] had smaller teams in Orlando years ago,” Monroe said. “[Andre Drummond] is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”
Monroe said he is looking for a two-year deal with an option, citing the expected rise of the salary cap as something that is affecting his decision. The big man also wants to play for a playoff-caliber team.
“I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” Monroe said. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece.”
Curiously, Monroe, while speaking with his hometown paper, said he would be interested in suiting up for the Pelicans, who have not shown interest.
“I’d love to play and represent this city,” he said. “Obviously, they have a guy like Anthony Davis who is a superstar already, and he’s only going to get better. I think I could really play well with him. Our games complement each other. I’m a low-post scorer. Obviously he’s a great midrange player.”
More likely choices include the teams Monroe said he will meet with. The Celtics have a need for a big man and possess the financial flexibility to make a deal happen, the Knicks need a cornerstone big man to build around and the Blazers need to plan for the possibility of life without unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.