It’s no secret that Greg Monroe is unlikely to be in a Detroit Pistons uniform at the beginning of next season.
After a contentious summer where Monroe could neither persuade another team to sign him to a max offer sheet, nor persuade the Pistons to give him the long-term deal that he desired, he took the rarely-traveled path of playing out the season on a qualifying offer in order to become an unrestricted free agent just as soon as it was finished.
Monroe will have plenty of options this summer, though if one report is to be believed, his future destination has already been chosen.
From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Maybe the worst kept secret in the NBA is that Phil Jackson plans to pursue Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe in free agency this summer. In fact, one league executive called it “about as close to a done deal as you can get.”
A done deal is illegal of course and would open Jackson and the Knicks to tampering charges. A more likely scenario is that representatives from both parties have made their interest known and will proceed accordingly once the free-agent recruiting period begins on July 1st. It happens all the time. …
It’s easy to connect the dots; Monroe’s agent, David Falk, is one of the few agents that Jackson has a relationship with going back more than 20 years when Falk was representing Michael Jordan. Falk is looking for a max contract for Monroe and the Knicks, coming off the worst season in franchise history, are happy to oblige.
What’s interesting here is that the Knicks are likely to land one of the top picks in the draft, where big men like Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor would appear to be the most obvious choices.
But Monroe is proven to a certain extent, with career-best averages of 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game for the Pistons this season.
New York will need to rebuild with a combination of talent that is ready, and players that are young who will need time to develop. Regardless of the potential positional duplication Monroe may bring to the roster, the Knicks need to lock up guys who are ready now, in order to jumpstart what is sure to be an excruciating rebuilding process.