A couple weeks ago, the Detroit Pistons reportedly weren’t considering trading Greg Monroe.
It’s difficult to believe that’s still the case.
The Pistons have lost 12 of 16, including defeats to the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. Monroe doesn’t deserve blame for the losses, at least not relative to other Pistons, but there’s a growing sense something has to give.
Maybe that’s Monroe, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Detroit has struggled when using him with Josh Smith and Andre Drummond, and perhaps Monroe has become the odd man out.
The Washington Wizards are lurking, and other teams are also surely considering whether they can prey on the wayward Pistons.
A Monroe trade would shock nobody, least of all Monroe, who’s aware of all the rumors.
Monroe, 23, has admitted the talk has affected him.
“It does, to be honest. We’re still trying to get things right, here,” he said. “To see that stuff … I just focus on what we’re doing here. I’m here. If that changes, then I’ll move forward. If it never does, I’ll focus on playing these games and trying to win these games.”
The Pistons certainly aren’t making it any easier on Monroe this season.
He’s playing power forward after previously focusing on center, and playing with Smith and Drummond has limited his ability to find space in the paint, where he works almost exclusively. Plus, he’s on his third coach (Maurice Cheeks, no less) and fourth starting point guard (Brandon Jennings, no less) in his four-year career.
By PER, win shares per minute and the simple eye test, Monroe is having the worst season of his career.
If he’s looking for a reason not to stress about a trade, that might be it.
His value might have sunk low enough that there’s no way the Pistons get near-equal value in a deal.