Before the Detroit Pistons even entertained (publicly) the idea of hiring Stan Van Gundy, there was little to no chance that Greg Monroe was going to be resigned. That thought all but ended when the team unintelligently signed Josh Smith last summer.
Now, apparently, there is no chance. The window has officially closed on Monroe’s tenure with the Pistons — or so it seems.
According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Van Gundy and the Pistons are going to have to make some money-saving moves this offseason and one of the casualties may be Monroe.
Even before the Pistons made the bold move of hiring Stan Van Gundy to be their coach and run their basketball operations on Tuesday, there was a growing consensus around the league that whomever was tabbed to replace Joe Dumars in the front office would be willing to let restricted free agent Greg Monroe go.
Now, with Van Gundy in place on an eyebrow-raising contract—five years, $35 million—there is near certainty among league executives that Monroe has played his last game for Detroit.
Monroe is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer and is expected to receive a myriad of interest, starting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Bobcats and New Orleans Pelicans.
Deveney names the Bobcats and Lakers as teams interested in Monroe, and Monroe’s hometown Pelicans interest him. If Van Gundy can swing a sign-and-trade that returns equal value and a better fit, fantastic.
But with the league-wide perception described in this report, Van Gundy loses a lot of leverage. Why sign-and-trade for Monroe if you know the Pistons don’t value him and won’t match a big offer?
We can probably expect quite the turnover with this Pistons roster and this is probably only the beginning. But the question that everyone will be asking will remain: Can SVG pull off a Josh Smith trade?