Restricted free agency hasn’t been kind to Greg Monroe of the Pistons. But it’s not for a lack of effort on the part of agent to get an agreeable deal done.
Monroe averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season, and many believe that’s just the beginning of what he will be able to do over the life of his career.
But since the Pistons could match any offer Monroe might have received from other teams this summer, his representation didn’t bother to seek any that could have potentially set an artificial value on his services, and restricted his earning potential over the next four years.
Monroe’s agent did, however, seek to find another way out.
Monroe and his agent, David Falk, never sought an offer sheet from another team but pursued sign-and-trade proposals with at least five other teams, including Portland and Oklahoma City, according to person familiar with the discussions. Monroe denied receiving a reported five-year, $60 million offer – or anything close – from Pistons and would’ve been unlikely to accept either way. …
His frustrations with the Pistons are understandable since he is about to have his fifth coach in five years with incoming coach Stan Van Gundy (who will also serve as team president) and Detroit is no closer to being a playoff team than it was when he arrived. …
Monroe doesn’t have anything against Van Gundy but is uncertain if he has the patience to invest four or five more years in the Pistons. Next summer, Monroe might be able to go where he pleases without much competition. Kevin Love is likely to re-sign with Cleveland (once the Cavaliers consummate the expected trade with Minnesota) and Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge will be the only other quality big man available. Several teams will also have cap space under a steadily increasing ceiling that could mean more money for the 24-year-old Monroe.
Monroe would certainly have options as an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of next season, but only if he continues to improve, and only if he manages to remain as durable as he’s been during his first four years in the league.
Financially, seeking a max contract via sign-and-trade is the way to go if the Pistons aren’t coming with the amount of money he’s seeking, and if that doesn’t work out, playing for the qualifying offer of just over $5 million next year in order to reap the benefits the following season would, in theory, make a lot of sense.
But the injury risk is real, which makes Monroe’s situation extremely interesting, no matter how it ultimately plays out.