Greg Monroe will meet with the Knicks and three or four other teams once free agent negotiations begin Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling hears. The Pistons are not one of those teams, adds Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). That’s no surprise regarding either New York or Detroit, as agent David Falk indicated strongly in April that the Knicks would be one of the big man’s top choices. 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. Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said a few days ago that he’s “not entirely optimistic” about retaining the five-year veteran.
A league executive told Frank Isola of the New York Daily News back in April that a deal between the Knicks and Monroe was about as close to done as it could be. The sides can’t legally negotiate until Wednesday, and the former No. 7 overall pick denied that any such arrangement was in place, but the story nonetheless set New York as the clear favorite for Monroe. Shams Charania of RealGM reported in December that the Knicks, as well as the Hawks, planned to pursue the 25-year-old. The Celtics are also reportedly likely to chase him.
Monroe is No. 7 in our latest Free Agent Power Rankings on the strength of continued strong play on the offensive end and improvement defensively. He appears in line for a max deal starting at an estimated $15.8MM, or close to it, as I wrote when I examined his free agent stock, and the Knicks have enough cap flexibility, and then some, to accommodate that.