Greg Monroe was unable to come to an agreement to stay with the Pistons on a long-term basis when he was a restricted free agent this past summer, and wanted out of Detroit so badly that he reportedly wouldn’t have even accepted a max contract offer from the team to stay.
Monroe did something unprecedented instead, foregoing the security of guaranteed dollars now in order to maximize his opportunities as an unrestricted free agent next summer, while having the decision-making power to choose to play somewhere else.
Detroit did field calls for Monroe from teams before he signed that one-year qualifying offer, but their asking price was fairly steep — at least it was when discussing trade scenarios with the Atlanta Hawks.
Monroe wanted out in the offseason, his first chance at testing the market. Experiencing four losing seasons, four coaches and two owners made him believe stability and winning weren’t very possible here, and the Pistons weren’t offering him a max contract to compensate, as unsuccessful franchises have to usually pay the “bad team” tax. …
Where the Pistons put themselves in this position was by not trading him. Although Monroe couldn’t get a max offer sheet from another team, he did receive substantial interest — and Portland and Atlanta tried to facilitate trades for him.
The Pistons wanted point guard Jeff Teague and sharpshooter Kyle Korver in return for Monroe, and the Hawks balked — perhaps with knowing Monroe could walk to them the summer of 2015, right into their cap space without having to part with valuable assets.
As of now, Monroe effectively has a no-trade clause; he must approve any trade as a condition of signing that qualifying offer. Monroe doesn’t appear interested in doing so, however, which means the Pistons may have missed out on their opportunity to get something in return for the big man, who is now expected to bolt in free agency as soon as the season is finished.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are 12-2 in their last 14 games, and currently sit in third place in the East. It appears as though they made the right decision.