Greg Monroe and the Pistons might have their problems, but Andre Drummond believes the two sides will reconcile.
Monroe’s camp reportedly wants Josh Smith traded. That hasn’t happened and probably won’t.
Monroe surely wants a max contract. That hasn’t happened and probably won’t, either.
Yet, Drummond believes.
Drummond, via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
“Greg knows what it is,” Drummond said at the Mendenhall Center on the UNLV campus. “I’ve told him multiple times that he needs to come on home.
“I need him there, and all the guys would love to have him back as well. At the end of the day, he’s got to do what’s best for him and his family.
“I still have high hopes, and I’m pretty sure he is coming home, so I’m excited for this season.”
Drummond might just be wishful thinking. He’s clearly fond of Monroe.
Or maybe Drummond knows something. He and Monroe are obviously in contact.
Either way, Monroe – as he always has been – remains likely to return to Detroit. He’s a restricted free agent, and this late in the summer, it’s unlikely another team – the 76ers or Suns – gives him a large offer sheet. The Pistons would probably match anyway. A sign-and-trade isn’t off the table, but trade partners are also drying up.
Eventually – and it could take a while – Monroe and the Pistons will probably come to terms on a multi-year.
That might not be Monroe’s ideal outcome, but it beats a qualifying offer. And it would sure please Drummond.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.