Eric Bledsoe threatened it, but Greg Monroe actually did it — he will play for the qualifying offer of $5.5 million this season just so he can be a free agent next summer. The Pistons offered him a lot more money (Monroe denied getting a five-year, $60 million offer, but talks were in the eight figures) and he said no. He may have said no to any offer. Part of that is about the money, but part of that is he just wants out of Detroit where he doesn’t feel his skills have been not used properly.
However Monroe says he would re-sign in Detroit next summer.
Sure he would. He’d also like to be the future King of England.
Monroe is banking on his talent, that he will show enough this winter to cash in bigger next summer, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. When asked whether he would consider Detroit after this year, he said, “definitely.”
That may be true, but it’s also true that he thinks he can get more money next year, and that means he has to be willing to go anywhere to get it.
He’s got to play in Detroit this season so he’s got to say this. But if he wanted to stay, he could have gotten a deal done.
Thing is, Detroit really can’t offer him a max deal next summer as currently constructed. Technically they have the cap space to do it but they are paying Josh Smith $13.5 million a year for three more seasons, Brandon Jennings $8.3, and Andre Drummond is going to get a five-year max contract extension from the Pistons (that doesn’t kick in until the 2016-17 season). Offer Monroe anywhere near max and it’s hard to build out the rest of the roster because all your money is tied up in bigs.
Bigs that don’t play well together. This is a key reason Monroe wants out. Stan Van Gundy’s biggest challenge this year is figuring out the Monroe/Drummond/Smith rotation.
Monroe knows he’ll get a max or near max offer next summer on a team that will feature him more. He gets everything he wants.
But sure, go ahead and think Detroit is still in the mix. Van Gundy is going to have to make some big changes to make that happen.