A report in the Detroit Free Press Thursday confirmed what a lot of people around the league expected — the Detroit Pistons are most likely not going to offer a rookie contract extension to Greg Monroe. Rather, they are going to let this year play out and next summer he will be a restricted free agent and the market will set his price.
It makes sense financially for the Pistons. They have $42 million already on the books next season, including $13.5 million for Josh Smith and $8 million for Brandon Jennings. Plus in the fall of 2015 a max extension that will get offered to Andre Drummond kicks in. That’s a lot of money in those three players. Best to wait out Monroe.
Thing is, Monroe is really good — a smart player who is strong at the elbow, can score around the rim, is a good passer and isn’t afraid from the midrange (although he misses a lot from there). He averaged 16 points and 9.6 rebounds a game last season and that is not near how good he can be. He is potentially one of the better big men in the league, and those guys get paid with max or near max deals. Some team is going to make a big offer to Monroe next summer.
That leads into the next question: Could Monroe get traded this season?
There are executives around the league who think it could go that way and they are watching and waiting. There are sharks circling.
Pistons GM Joe Dumars isn’t going there. Yet, anyway. Nor should he.
Detroit has to be patient here and see what happens with the Smith, Drummond and Monroe front line — if it meshes it will be a beast (particularly defensively, at least they should be). If it all clicks then Dumars does nothing but try to find shooting to go around that group. He tries to build a Grizzlies-style contender.
But if it doesn’t mesh Monroe will be the odd man out. They just brought in Smith at $13.5 million a year, and the Pistons see Drummond as a franchise anchor center. Those two are not going anywhere.
Monroe? He could draw some quality pieces to fit better with Smith and Drummond.
Just something to watch as everyone’s new League Pass favorites the Pistons try to make it all work out. You can bet there will be plenty of executives from other teams keeping their eye on this.
Watch Jonathan Simmons’ chasedown block on Stephen Curry
While the Spurs were running the Warriors out of Oracle Arena — a 129-100 Spurs win — Simmons had a fantastic chasedown block on Stephen Curry. It was one of the plays of the game (most of the rest came from Kawhi Leonard).
Simmons had 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting off the bench for the Spurs in the win, which included a poster dunk on JaVale McGee late. Just to put some icing on the win.
Iman Shumpert in concussion protocol after collision with Porzingis
Late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s blowout opening night win over New York, the Cavalier’s Iman Shumpert lowered his head and tried to drive the lane, where he collided with Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis. It looked like Shumpert’s head hit Porzingis’ hip and elbow.
Shumpert instantly went to the ground, then needed help to come off the court. He was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, the team announced. Apparently, Porzingis is a rock.
A source questioned whether Shumpert would be available for either of the Cavs’ next two games, Friday in Toronto and Saturday against Orlando at The Q. To play, Shumpert would need to be symptom free, pass a series of tests, and show no symptoms after each test.
There is no set timeline with a concussion. In the short term, this will mean more DeAndre Liggins on the court until Shumpert returns.
The Cavs are already without rookie backup point guard Kay Felder, who suffered a concussion during practice last Friday when he ran into Chris Andersen.
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.