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The Pistons actually have a player who is not in the “LOL” section of Bill Simmons’ annual trade value column

Bill Simmons’ annual trade value column for ESPN/Grantland remains one of my favorite NBA reads of the year, if only for the debates it stirs up. In recent years, though, it has been pretty depressing to see the only mentions of Pistons players show up in the sections where Simmons makes fun of the horrible contracts that have no trade value. This year, though? This year is different:

22. Mystery Player B
All right, release that thought (from Mystery Player A, ranked no. 32 in Part 1). Contrast these 2011-12 numbers …

Mystery Player A: 29.4 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 43% FG, 73% FT, 21 PER
Mystery Player B: 32.7 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 BPG, 50% FG, 79% FT, 23 PER

Slight edge to Player B, right?

OK, so let’s say Player B is a normal guy … and Player A is an unpredictable loose cannon who may or may not have just gotten his first coach fired a few weeks ago. Now which guy are you taking?

Here’s the point: Boogie Cousins gets more hype than Greg Monroe; he got drafted two picks ahead of him; his upside seems like it should be higher; he’s more fun to follow; he has a better nickname; and he’s always going to seem a little more overpowering when he has it going. In the Grantland headquarters, we’ve probably had 20 Boogie Cousins conversations and 135 moments where Jay Kang cackled, “I LOVE BOOGIE!!!!” I don’t remember anyone discussing Greg Monroe even once. I’m not even sure half our staff knows what he looks like. Just know that Sacramento would flip Boogie for Monroe in a cocaine heartbeat … and if the roles were reversed, Detroit would hang up.

Slowly but surely, national media are starting to figure out that Monroe is really good. Simmons’ analysis on Monroe is right in line with what Dan, Brian Packey of DBB and I concluded the other day: Monroe is essentially untouchable for anyone but a small handful of elite players in the league.


  • Mar 12, 201212:10 pm
    by Tiko


    If the 2010 draft were redone where would Monroe go? I think a strong case for #1 but not past 3

    • Mar 12, 20121:53 pm
      by tarsier


      Perhaps I harp on this too much, but there are a ton of good PGs in the league. In a 2010 redraft, I feel like Monroe has to go #1. Wall may be the better player. But this is similar to how I would rather start a franchise with Dwight Howard than Russel Westbrook. Who has more talent? I don’t know. Who has more value? The C over the PG every time. You gotta take Cousins and Wall 2nd and 3rd in some order, and after that, it’s a steep drop-off to whoever gets taken 4th.

  • Mar 12, 20121:39 pm
    by Todd


    Simmons also includes in his column a sneaky good anecdote in Part 1 of the Trade Value article:

    “David Kahn is becoming White Joe Dumars — either he’s making a shrewd move (Rubio, Pekovic, J.J. Barea, Michael Beasley, Rick Adelman) or a lousy one (Johnny Flynn, Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, Darko’s last contract, Kurt Rambis, only re-signing Love for three years instead of five) with no in-between.”

    Who would have thought that Dumars and Kahn would be compared to each other 6 years ago? Does the reality that this makes so much sense mean Kahn is getting better or that it is time for us to send Dumars packing?

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