Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe not expecting Pistons contract extension, thinking 2014 free agency


This summer the draft class of 2010 is eligible for contract extensions — teams with a star they want to lock up can do what the Thunder did with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, what the Clippers did with Blake Griffin, and so on. Give your franchise player the max.

So who from that draft do you think you want to lock up from 2010? John Wall? Evan Turner? Derrick Favors? Wesley Johnson? DeMarcus Cousins? Those were your first five pick and… not so much. We’ll see what the new ownership (whoever it is) and GM do with Cousins. Wall if he takes a discount salary maybe.

Then there is Greg Monroe, who fell to Detroit at the seventh pick and has been a quality NBA center — 15.9 points and 9.6 rebounds a game with 48.9 percent shooting this season. That’s the kind of big man you want to keep.

But Monroe’s agent, David Falk, told the Detroit Free Press there are no plans to talk extension, it will get sorted out in the summer of 2014 when Monroe is a restricted free agent.

“Greg isn’t gonna go backwards between his third and fourth year,” Falk said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done an extension after a third year. In the 90’s you maxed out a guy after his second, but the (CBA) rules are different now.”

“When I evaluate things, with a player of Greg’s stature: Take the money out of the equation. I can get it from five different teams. ‘Are there players I want to play with? A coach I want to play for? A city I want to live in?’ My job is to make the money as insignificant as possible (relatively).”

It’s a very agent thing to say “take the money out of the equation” because money IS the equation. In the case of Monroe in the summer of 2014, whatever some team with a great coach, livable city, and great teammates can offer to Monroe the Pistons have the right to match.

The Pistons are an up-and-coming team with a great young front line of Monroe and Andre Drummond, solid backcourt players like Brandon Knight, a guy they may want to keep in Jose Calderon, and $20 million in cap space. And if you want to know what attracts free agents, it’s cap space.

Detroit is a good place to be right now, I’d be surprised if the Pistons let him go.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.