We have talked about Detroit’s front line as a trio — the veteran free agent Josh Smith, the budding young potential franchise player Andre Drummond, and Greg Monroe playing at near an All-Star level (he had 37 double doubles and a PER of 19.5).
But how long are they going to be a trio?
Detroit is committed to Smith, giving him four years and $54 million this summer. Drummond is only entering his second season but if he continues on his current path he is the kind of young player who gets locked up with a max extension as soon as the Pistons can.
With all that money coming to those two, what do the Pistons do with Monroe? He’s eligible for an extension but it looks like they are going to let the market set his price next summer, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com.
But league sources indicate an extension for Monroe is highly unlikely. The Pistons are not going to give him anywhere near the max, based on their current roster. Plus, Monroe’s agent, David Falk, has little interest in signing an extension for less than that. While discussions are friendly, it’s likely the two sides will revisit next summer — if Monroe is still on the roster.
If — and really at this point, when — Monroe goes on the market he is going to max or near max offers. Top-flight young big men are hard to come by. The question is will the Pistons match? If Drummond still looks elite this season, that becomes hard to do.
The other option is to listen to trade offers during this season.
For now the Pistons are going to let this play out, but it’s something to watch moving forward because GM Joe Dumars and the Pistons have some calls to make.