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All Greg Monroe needs to make a Pau Gasol-like leap is better talent surrounding him

I have zero interest in discussing another underwhelming (possible) coaching hire by the Detroit Pistons (OK, fine … here’s my only sentence of analysis I will offer … there is no difference between Maurice Cheeks and Lawrence Frank. One played the game, one didn’t. Everything else is exactly the same. Carry on with the spin-fest that this isn’t a disaster if you must.).

So in an effort to write only about things involving the team that interest me, this week’s column for the Detroit Free Press looked at what it will take for Greg Monroe to produce at the level of a big man he’s often been compared to, Pau Gasol:

In 2001, the Memphis Grizzlies were trying to figure out how to fully take advantage of the diverse skill set their young big man offered the franchise. It took more than 100 losses, a coaching change and that young big in question learning how to operate as the focal point of the offense, but at 23 years-old, Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies to a 50-win season and a playoff appearance in 2004.

Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe will be 23 next season.

That’s just a taste. Over the next few weeks, I’ll write similar lengthy comparisons (hopefully realistic ones) for each of the Pistons’ promising young players (no, not Rodney Stuckey, before his two fans left in the world ask if I’ll be including him).

58 Comments

  • Jun 8, 201310:01 am
    by Combo Guards VS Logic

    Reply

    mediocracy, thy name is PISTONS BASKETBALL 

  • Jun 8, 201310:25 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    A lot of Greg Monroe rumors, talk, scenario has been floating around.

    Gasol being traded worked out for Memphis 

    • Jun 8, 201311:26 am
      by Sop

      Reply

      Sure it did, in the long run. But chances of the 48th pick becoming what Marc Gasol is now are not high.
       
      Plus Dumars would never do it. He’s got his marketing pitch in Monroe/Drummond. He’s convinced he can repeat the Rasheed trade some how this summer with a team in lux cap trouble and he won’t take a risk on a RFA, Evans, because he’s scared to lose. Also highly unlikely a top-flight UFA, Iggy or J-Smoov, would choose Detroit even his Joe D offered to massively over pay. 
      Best bet in Free Agency will be overpaying Mayo or Ellis since they’re both combo guards.
      My suggestion would be to check and see if Knight, Jerebko, the 8th and 37th pick would be enough to get Rondo from the Celtics. If this meant we had to take Terry’s terrible contract as well then so be it.

      • Jun 8, 201311:40 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Why wouldn’t a top flight FA come to Detroit if that’s where the most money is offered? Contract size is the primary way of choosing a team.

        • Jun 8, 20135:00 pm
          by Sop

          Reply

          Michigan has a bad tax policy compared to Texas where both Dallas and Houston have cap space.  Not to mention the climate and the crappy location of Auburn Hills and Detroit. If you have been in some of the other major urban areas in the US you know that the Auburn Hills area is a dirty hole compared to two thirds of the other franchise locations. Sorry.

          • Jun 8, 20137:49 pm
            by Huddy

            Players don’t live in Aubtin hills.  Michigan has some of the richest counties in the country despite the state as a whole.  Athletes live in Bloomfield, Birmingham, etc…  

      • Jun 8, 201311:48 am
        by Scott

        Reply

        hmmm. That suggestion is interesting. It could be great for both sides. Well done. If another team doesn’t put together a better package for him, I think we should make such an offer, also Boston would ask us to take on Terry’s contract without a doubt.

        • Jun 8, 20135:23 pm
          by Sop

          Reply

          Thanks man. Of course the whole thing is predicated on the premise that Boston is going to dump Pierce and maybe KG and rebuild hardcore next season. It would be harder if they asked for Singler instead of JJ because that would leave us really depleted of 3pt threats, but it would still be a good move. (of course this is also based on the assumption that Detroit dr.s will clear Rondo for a full recovery) If Singler was part then I might look to add Dorrell Wright at SF for a cheap 3D option.

          • Jun 8, 20135:36 pm
            by Sop

            Also if they asked for Singler it would deplete more of our cap. Still worth it.

      • Jun 8, 20131:19 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Rondo is fantastic, but I don’t know how well he’d fit with a pair of bigs who can’t shoot.

      • Jun 8, 20135:23 pm
        by T Casey

        Reply

        Rondo’s cool, but I think his status as a #1 option, which he’d be here, is overrated. Sure he gets assists, but his lack of scoring ability can be a hindrance on his team’s offense as well. I don’t think it was any coincidence the Celtics began playing better after he went down. They had more scorers in playmaking positions with him gone as opposed to having all the scorers waiting for him to make a play for them. In short, their offense was too 1 dimensional with him at the helm.

        He’d be a clear upgrade over Knight or anybody else we have obviously, but I’m not convinced paying him big money is the way to go, unless the goal is to keep him for a year or two and then try and ship him for someone better. 

        • Jun 8, 20135:35 pm
          by Sop

          Reply

          I agree that Boston’s Big 3 and Rondo’s big number inflate his value but I think that a PG who can penetrate and find bigs down low with lobs or in pick and roll would be a huge step.
          I do think that with remaining cap the Pistons could find some shooters to put around him besides Terry and hopefully English and Middleton could evolve in this regard.

  • Jun 8, 201311:02 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    He also has to improve in the pick and pop, at mid range jump shooting, and not turning it over.

    But yeah, some teammates ought to help!

    • Jun 8, 20138:45 pm
      by No Mo

      Reply

      its not that he cant hit the mid range its just hes to hesitant in taking it

      • Jun 8, 201310:50 pm
        by Keith

        Reply

        Actually, it’s both. He’s hestitant to take that mid-range shot because it’s a bad shot. He hits it at a low rate.

  • Jun 8, 201311:23 am
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Getting tougher on the block and developing some post moves would help him a ton as well. Dude gets pushed off the block way too easily most nights. When he does play tough, he’s been able to dominate down low.

  • Jun 8, 201311:44 am
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Nice comparison. Hopefully Joe D can assemble a roster this offseason. And thanks for not giving Stuckey the light of day with these columns. Sad to say, but he’s not the future and never was.

  • Jun 8, 20131:55 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Greg Monroe needs a good 15 foot jump shot and the desire the play defense to make the Pau Gasol leap. 

    Also, shooters.  

  • Jun 8, 20132:09 pm
    by Jeremy J.

    Reply

    I think that he compares more to Zach Randolph. Neither are that athletic and play below the rim. Z-Bo wasn’t a good defender early in his career but improved in Memphis’ system.

    • Jun 8, 20134:45 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      gasol is a good comparison.
      he is nothing like zach randolph.  totally different games.  what made randolph so devastating was that he’d go inside/out.  he’d hit a midrange shot and then post you up next time.  then he’d bust your head with his offensive rebounding.  randolph was straight up power basketball with a bit of finesse.  monroe is all finesse.  he could learn something from randolph as far as using his body is concerned.

    • Jun 9, 20131:41 am
      by neutes

      Reply

      It depends what Randolph we are talking about. The earlier version one that resembled Demarcus Cousins and would jack up outside jumpers all game long and wasn’t efficient at all, or the later version that has become the low post threat he is. Randolph’s game has completely changed during his time in the league. Still, Randolph was never ever the passer Monroe is. At best you’re referring to their physical games as below the rim players.

  • Jun 8, 20132:10 pm
    by Faraz1013

    Reply

    Is that title worded properly or am i just not reading it right?

  • Jun 8, 20133:01 pm
    by by key decisions know

    Reply

    how about  cody zeller at 3 for he is quick and has size and range could dominate at 3? thoughts.

    • Jun 8, 201310:53 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      He did put up great athletic numbers. But can he play the wing? We have zero tape to suggest it, and he’s only showed off his outside shot in closed workouts. 

  • Jun 8, 20133:38 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Please say no to Ellis or Iverson 2.0. He is a selfish player. I think Mayo is better overall and has good size. I also have a funny feeling we will be stuck with Stuckey. Cheeks will need to sit down with him once he establishes his role(not at small forward unless they plagums all ball; he was overmatched when Frank put him at that position). 

  • Jun 8, 20133:41 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I also read that Orlando is dangling their #2 pick. Hopefully Dumars will give them a call and see what can be worked out. 

    • Jun 8, 20134:25 pm
      by jacob

      Reply

      I wonder how much we would give up and who we would be looking to draft? Maybe for Knight and our pick and the 55. or 8 and 37. We would have to really like mclemore oladipo or porter. I’m not sure if Joe D does.

  • Jun 8, 20134:48 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    it is not worth giving up much to move down.  detroit will get a quality player – burke, mccollum, zeller, bennett – at their spot in the draft.  there simply isn’t enough difference between the 1st player and the 8th or 9th to make it worth trading anything but maybe a second round pick and/or a rotation player like…maybe JJ.
    porter might be worth it – not in my book, but some might think so – but definitely not mcclemore.
    frankly, i’m mystified as to the love affair with mcclemore.  nice talent, but he’s not shown that he is on another level from the other top players.

    • Jun 8, 20134:56 pm
      by jacob

      Reply

      It would be hard to justify moving up in this draft. Why give up assets. Like you said we can still get a good player at 8, for less money. Also I think we are in win now mode. So unless we give up jj and the 55 it wouldn’t be worth it imo.

  • Jun 8, 20134:54 pm
    by DTroyEveryThang

    Reply

    Y’all putting too much faith in Dumars, I just wish he hurry up and hire Cheeks, draft Shabazz and spend up all the cap space on nobody’s, so Gore can fire him! If Dumars some how prove me wrong, I’ll be more than happy to admit it, but if I was a betting man I serious doubt it.

    • Jun 8, 20135:17 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Not gonna get on the whole Shabazz thing, but every report have read recently say he has got back incredible shape… he is looking more explosive and now it will come down to workouts

  • Jun 8, 20134:57 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Shabazz or Carter-williams are great fits in detroit,..

    If we trade Greg,stuckey For a player like Nate Batum, wesely Mathews (just an example) you draft Zeller …  

    That would make a good team right away 

    • Jun 8, 201311:51 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’m growing on Shabazz. He’s still a large step below the top 6 in my book, but he’s also the clear cut number 7. I’m not even vaguely interested in MCW.

      • Jun 9, 201310:33 am
        by jacob

        Reply

        Still hoping for like Burke, Oladipo, Bennet to fall. If not then I would take Zeller over Shabazz. If Zeller is also gone then I guess you’re choosing between Caldwell-pope, Shabazz, Len or McCollum.

        • Jun 9, 201310:36 am
          by jacob

          Reply

          Also the only way we trade Monroe is for an All star. Hopefully he won’t be traded.

  • Jun 8, 20137:57 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    You know Pau Gasol is one of the most if not the most skilled big man in the game offensively. Greg has to improve drastically to reach that level plus Greg is not adequate on the defensive end….at all. Often times it seems like an effort problem or lack of desire to get dirty and bang unless he is on offense. 

  • Jun 8, 20139:57 pm
    by WhereIsBisonDele?

    Reply

    Pau comparisons might be a bit extreme at this point.  However, with the right system and staff, teammates, etc., its very possible.  

    All of you talking Rondo.  Would you make that trade if you were Danny Ainge?  Better yet, if you were Doc Rivers and contemplating retirement, would adding B.Knight (a decent player) and two draft picks excite you?   It’s not going to happen.  

    Our best bet is trying to find value (Afflalo happens to have 3 or 4 years left on a reasonable contract in Orlando.  He also happens to play the same position as two guys Orlando could take #2 in the draft).   Would Stuckey for Afflo get it done?  Stuck has a buyout for 4.5 mi. Or they could have him for a season and let him walk.  

    There are also a few teams supposedly looking to trade draft picks (Atlanta, Dallas, and some others in the rumor mills).  We could pickup solid rotation guys with those picks.  

     

  • Jun 8, 201310:12 pm
    by DTroyEveryThang

    Reply

    Or Piston fans could petition Gore to fire Dumars or sale the team!

  • Jun 8, 201310:41 pm
    by Aby

    Reply

    Sorry Pistons fans. Our next coach is M.Cheecks. I Project 5-15 in the first 20 games.

  • Jun 8, 201311:07 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    I’ve read several comments over the last few weeks comparing Drummond to Howard and Shaq and it’s cool. But when Monroe is compared to Gasol, it’s problem?

    Do not understand all of this Monroe hate/Drummond love.  

    I’m totally into Drummond but the last I saw the guy, his entire offensive repertoire consisted of Dunks.  Monroe is closer to 20 and 10 than Drummond is but we’re ready to send Monroe out for  guys like Batum and Matthews?  I’ve read that somebody wanted to swap Monroe for Ryan Anderson.

    I just don’t get it. 

    • Jun 8, 201311:52 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      that would be a terrible trade

    • Jun 9, 20137:52 am
      by Vic

      Reply

      Yeah I don’t get these trade Monroe guys either, whenever I see those two words I just skip to the next comment

  • Jun 9, 20131:33 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    Uh. Yeah. Monroe doesn’t have the mid-range game Gasol had, nor does he really have the post game. No knock on Monroe but Gasol was simply better at scoring, and even blocking shots. I’m not sure Monroe will ever reach Gasol’s level of play at his peak. What are better teammates going to accomplish? I’m looking forward to the argument because it’s not like Gasol had great teammates in Memphis or even LA besides Kobe. They both share the ball is why I get the comparison, but Monroe is already in the top tier of big men in assists. If assists are the category better teammates are supposed to help him improve upon then I think we’re looking at the wrong categories. 

    As for the Frank v Cheeks comparison I completely agree. Although unless Cheeks learned some lessons in OKC I actually think Frank is the better X’s and O’s coach. Cheeks is probably a better motivator and will get more respect because he played the game, but I don’t think as a coach he’s shown he actually knows the game any better than Frank. We have two big men with limited range so I think it’s going to take a bit of creativity on offense with sets etc to get them to succeed together, and I’m quite worried Cheeks doesn’t have the X’s and O’s knowledge to make it happen. 

  • Jun 9, 20135:56 am
    by Grizz

    Reply

    Tell me this Dan Feldman, were you totally against Lawrence France being hired? As I recall you were not against it as much as against Cheeks.  Sort of like .. lets wait and see .. Respect for being against Cheeks now … or seeing it as a mistake or so mediocre that it is a bad move … Will I hate Cheeks after 2 months of losing? Sure … I am not endorsing Cheeks .. Just saying he is a less worse choice than Frank …I  Repeat . I dont want Cheeks hired either .. I suppose it is pointless to debate who is the worse choice .. but I would have loved for you to be as against Frank in the beginning as you are against Cheeks .. That is my only point .. I see that view as a good one …And as a reader of sports journalism .. glad to see you getting a bit more annoyed with the coaching hires … Curry Kuester Frank Cheeks .. YIKES!   If you guys get mad .. and you Piston journalists almost never do .. maybe there is hope for putting more pressure on Piston management on making smarter moves. I repeat .. Curry Kuester Frank Cheeks .. Does this sound like the Pistons fear what the writers will write .. or even care?  That has to change ..

  • Jun 9, 20132:47 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    @Kamal you have to break some eggs to make a cake…

    Batum and Matthews are proven talents that would feel out our roster, and Drummond offensive talent might be limited, but overall he is more of a game changer than Greg… Its Not hating Greg at all, but sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do to make your team better and more competive.

    Bye the way…I said for an Example: Meaning we are getting Quality Young players in return that can produce right away 

    • Jun 10, 20135:25 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Hey I was thinking all us commenter’s here at pistonpowered should start up a bet to see how long it takes you to change your name from I HATE FRANK to I HATE CHEEKS. Maybe if you change it now Joe will hire someone else (jokes).

      • Jun 10, 20138:23 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        I knew Frank was going to be horrible, and although Cheeks isnt my top choice he has something things I can atleast respect about him

  • Jun 9, 20134:12 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    I actually agree with you and see your point Mr. I HaTe Frank. I’m with the philosophy that if it makes our team better then you have to make the hard deals. No hate on Monroe, but some wonder if he’s reached his ceiling already. Someone mentioned earlier he doesn’t impact the game as much as Drummond. Although he averages almost 17 & 10 those numbers don’t usually lead to wins Or have a profound impact on the game. I don’t want to call them empty stats, but lets get a full season of Monroe and Drummond playing side by side to see what we got first; before we split up what could be potentially a dominant front line. I think thats where my frustration along with many others came with Frank, this was the season to do that and see how compatibke bith are bigs are but instead we only saw flashes during the last few games of the season so it kind of felt like a wasted season that copled with us not reaching the playoffs.

    All I need to see from Greg besides an improved midrange game is some sort of effort on the defensive end. If Drummond comes back in better shape (conditioning) with at least 1 go to post move we’re gonna be dangerous next season.

    • Jun 10, 20138:25 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      I can agree with that…

      All i was saying is that im not against moving Greg its its going to truly upgrade our roster

  • Jun 9, 20137:58 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    A lot of new candidates emerging for the 4 main openings (BK,LAC,DEN,MEM) Kidd and LB are both in the mix now. I wonder if this lack of news on the Cheeks front could be the Pistons starting to feel they may have a chance now at one of the guys they previously thought was unattainable. Because if Kidd/Brown takes 2 of the 4 good jobs, by process of elimination, 1 of  Shaw, Holiins, or Karl would then be available for us to hire.

    Thats what the Pistons should be doing at least, not sure what they are actually planning, but its very suspicious what is taking so long to finalize a contract, if they have in fact decided on Cheeks. He has literally no bargaining power, as he’s not a candidate for any other job. So if the Pistons really wanted him, they would’ve already made him an offer, which I’m guessing he would’ve taken immediately, given he has no other options.

    You look at all the other hires this summer, and they all got done immediately. Something is fishy here. 

    • Jun 10, 20132:54 pm
      by zdh

      Reply

      cheeks will be the coach. shaw hollins or karl are not going to coach the pistons after coaching playoff teams, or in shaws case, drawing interest from other playoff teams such as the nets. 

      also, unless the pistons are getting an all-star in return, they shouldnt trade monroe or drummond. monroe is still young and has time to develop, and drummond barely played but had some flashes of greatness his rookie season. having two young developing big men is a huge advantage if the team can place the right guards/wings around them (a huge if at this point).

      and all these fake trades with the celtics are outrageous. the celtics could get much better offers for rondo, even after the injury, than brandon knight and the number 8 in a weak draft. the best assets detroit has are monroe and drummond, which again, they should keep and give a chance to develop.

      i hope they dont sign oj mayo or ellis. just take on some 1 year guys and bomb out and get a top 8 pick while developing monroe/drummond/knight/middleton. 

  • Jun 9, 201310:00 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Getting rid of Maxiell will help Monroe.  They left him open constantly…wanted him to take the shot.  See what happens if they leave Dre open…

    It’ll get better with Cheeks.  If he can help Knight get it together, we should be a playoff team this season.  We’ll have new players to blend with all the young talent.  
     

    Feldman’s doomsday prediction is an opinion and should not be confused with fact.  There will be a new coach when the team grows enough to need to take the next step.  In the meantime, we need a coach who can control the locker room and help Knight learn to be a point guard.

  • Jun 9, 201310:57 pm
    by Joey

    Reply

    Actually, Lawrence and Maurice playing and boot playing is a difference, Patrick

    • Jun 10, 20137:14 am
      by G

      Reply

      Not much of one if they’re equally shitty coaches.

  • Jun 10, 201310:50 am
    by Terrell

    Reply

    Greg needs to be trade with stuckey and swap picks for rondo then they need to trade both second round picks to dallas for the 13th pick and select glen rice jr

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