The Detroit Pistons still haven’t gotten anywhere with restricted free agent Greg Monroe. The free agency period has been going for 24 days now, and all has been relatively quiet on the Monroe front.
We don’t know much about what Monroe’s been up to this offseason. But we do know that he has yet to execute any of the three options at his disposal: sign another team’s offer sheet, accept Detroit’s qualifying offer, or sign a long-term deal with the Pistons.
Most of the noteworthy free agents have already agreed to deals at this point in free agency. Many teams made it known that they were interested in his services early on, but that hasn’t amounted to anything.
The most concrete thing we’ve learned all July is that the Phoenix Suns might be considering making him an offer. This curious situation has many wondering: What’s going on with Greg Monroe?
I don’t know the answer to that question. I know I can’t understand why he isn’t a hotter commodity, considering that he is only 24 years old, stands 6-foot-11, and is able to play both the center and power forward positions.
It becomes even more puzzling to me when factoring in what a rarity his back-to-the-basket game has become in today’s NBA. It seems inconceivable that he hasn’t received any offers, yet there he sits on the open market.
They say that rebounding is one of the true measuring sticks correlated to success in basketball. Well, Monroe’s 9.3 rebounds per game finished tied for 17th highest in the league last season. Only four free agents — Zach Randolph, Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol and Marcin Gortat — had better rebound numbers than he did a year ago. All four have already signed contracts.
It all adds up to one peculiar situation. It’s not to say that his game doesn’t come without weaknesses. He isn’t a great defender by any means and he becomes quite useless on offense outside of 10 feet.
Still, he is young, he is talented, and he plays a unique game, so I don’t get why there’s no market for him.
The Pistons have been pretty nonchalant about this whole situation. They seem contented to wait it out, and there is no pressure to throw big money at him when there isn’t a host of suitors looking to steal him away.
There is still plenty of offseason to go, but the few signs we’ve got indicate that Monroe will be returning to the Pistons for next season. And that’s a great thing for Detroit.
If lost, the Pistons would be spread pretty thin on the frontcourt. They would have to split the minutes between the likes of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, Jonas Jerebko, Aaron Gray and Tony Mitchell. That doesn’t sound too promising.
I know things didn’t work out quite so well last season with the trio of Smith, Drummond and Monroe, but surely another season of dealing with that clogging combination is better than a rotation that gives Aaron Gray significant minutes.
If I’m Detroit, I’d stop being so casual with the situation and find a way to get it resolved as soon as possible.