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

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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.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough: Eric Bledsoe hair-salon claim about tweet was unbelievable

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Eric Bledsoe reportedly requested a trade from the Suns before the season then tweeted yesterday:

Clear message?

Apparently not.

After sending home Bledsoe today, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough explained his rationale:

The hair salon! What a wonderful excuse.

Is it true? I’m not going to call Bledsoe a liar. It might be.

It’s also probably true that Bledsoe isn’t long for Phoenix.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

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In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

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Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.

Report: Eric Bledsoe requested trade from Suns before season

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Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:

In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.