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Pistons must give Greg Monroe max contract or trade him

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Monroe knows he’ll face queries about a potential extension for himself — except he doesn’t want to hear it.

“No, I’m not (going to hear questions),” Monroe said. “I want you (all) to circulate this right now. Pay attention. I have an agent like everybody else in the NBA. He’s gonna communicate with the front office. I’m here to play and that’s it. If you ask, I’m not gonna talk about it.”

That appears to mean the status quo – Greg Monroe not planning to sign an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline – is intact. Here’s my response at the Detroit Free Press:

The Pistons must determine whether Monroe deserves a max contract. If they deem he doesn’t, they must trade him, because he all but certainly will get one next summer.

As a restricted free agent, Monroe could receive an offer sheet from any team. If the Pistons don’t give him a max contract, someone else will. At that point, Detroit would have the option to match the offer.

If the Pistons are willing to match any offer, there’s no problem here. If they’re not, they can’t let themselves get put into that position, because that would mean losing Monroe for nothing if the offer gets too high — and it surely will get as high as the collective bargaining agreement allows.

In the last 10 years, just three players have averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game in two of their first three seasons: Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins and Monroe.

Griffin got a max extension and, reportedly, so has Cousins. Productive young big men get paid, as they should.

The Pistons simply must operate under the assumption Monroe will get a max contract one way or another.

95 Comments

  • Sep 28, 20131:36 pm
    by deusXango

    Reply

    Will someone please hold Vinnie Goodwill’s head under water until the bubbles stop coming up? Greg Monroe deserves what one of the top three big men in the last ten years are getting; MAX money!! He came into a dying environment and did the best he could to revive it, now that things are looking better, we want to trade him…at 23 years old? Please!

    • Sep 29, 20138:52 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      We should look at this less about whether or not the Pistons should trade him and more about what they might get for him and if that would be better.

      Shipping Monroe out for some sort of package would almost certainly be a loss so while minor pieces could move in either direction, it would have to be centered on a one-for-one deal. The only such trade I can see the other side taking and giving the Pistons just as big a talent is a swap for Kevin Love.

      Maybe if the Pistons determined Monroe wasn’t worth a max deal, he could be worth swapping for a very promising young player like Beal (or Valanciunas, McLemore, Porter, Oladipo–pending how well they start off this season).

      What you have to understand about such a trade is that it would open up about $7M of additional cap space this coming summer. It could cause some difficulties down the road but if one of those guys is almost as good as Monroe, fits better, and allows the signing of another big time FA, that would at least be worthy of consideration. 

      • Oct 1, 20139:01 am
        by mongoslade86

        Reply

        Or a sign and trade with portland for LaMarcus Aldridge

        • Oct 1, 201310:14 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          What is the upside of this move? LA is slightly better than Monroe right now. But not much. And he definitely has less upside and significantly less of his career left. And he’s getting paid about as much as Monroe would on a max deal, so it’s not like it would be about the savings (especially because he could make even more on the next contract). And then one season later, he would be a UFA and if he didn’t love it in Detroit or could get more money elsewhere, he’s gone and the Pistons have nothing to show for him.

          Trading Monroe for Aldridge is basically a lose-lose-lose for Detroit unless you think Aldridge is a much better player. And if you do, you’re wrong.

  • Sep 28, 20134:40 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Thank you. Dan, this is the best headline you’ve written in ages. It’s concise, it says it all, and it’s the biggest decision the team has to make next season.
     
    I’m sick of all the false hope and question marks, like he’s going to settle for less than the max. It’s not going to happen, and the more doubt fans try to inject about Monroe getting something that starts around 13 mil or let’s see how his peers set the bar for his contract or whatever nonsense wheels they’re spinning. There’s a bunch of clowns over at DBB blabbering about this like there’s some room for discussion, making headlines about how Demarcus Cousins set the bar. Cousins’ contract didn’t change anything. At best it just confirmed what’s been obvious for a while now. Sign him or give him the max. Anything else is wishful thinking.
     
    So there should be some swift evaluation going on right now, $60 mil over four years is a FAT paycheck, and personally I’d only give it to Monroe if he was the only center available and could eat up 33-35 minutes or so at that position. There’s no way in hell I’m paying him that unless this team comes out and SHREDS the competition.
     
    Moose was once far and away our best player, but as of this summer, he is now AT BEST the fourth guy whose hands I want to see the ball in. If I want someone to make a play develop, I’ll put the ball in the hands of our dynamic new playmaker Jennings or our steady veteran Chauncey. That’s two PG options right there that we’ve sorely lacked in the recent past. And then if I want someone to go get me a bucket, I’m giving the ball to Smith. Like it or not, unless he comes out and takes the league by storm, Greg could very well be the odd man out. He is no longer the best player on our team at ANYTHING.
     
    This fanbase is in love with the guy like he’s the only basketball player we’ve ever seen. He came in here when things were at their bleakest and gave fans hope. But they’re treating him like he’s untouchable. It’s like the guy who could never get laid and marries the first girl who would have sex with him. Moose is that girl. But we’re not that pimply, chubby teenager anymore. We’ve grown up. We trimmed down, have a good job, dress nicely. We don’t need to have sex with Greg Monroe for eternity at $15 mil a season. If we trade him very soon, he could fetch a king’s ransom.

    • Sep 28, 20137:07 pm
      by ryan

      Reply

      Couldn’t disagree more Otis. We need to keep Greg Monroe and build around him and Andre Drummond.

      • Sep 28, 20137:40 pm
        by joe dumars

        Reply

        like it or not, its debatable right now. They ran offense through him for two years, and it lead to mediocre results. Monroe just isn’t a #1 option in todays NBA. If Monroe struggles playing along side Smith, and can’t find his jumpshot.

        You got to ask yourselves should the Pistons really make Monroe their first max signing even if he struggles? Certainly he deserves the max because his numbers and market dictate it, but in the end it might not be the smartest thing especially if the team struggles again.

        • Oct 1, 201312:12 am
          by Otis

          Reply

          Right. And he’s spent his ENTIRE career at center. So with or without Smith, you’re still sliding him to a WORSE position for him by playing him next to Drummond at PF, a position that highlights his weaknesses, and boy does he have weaknesses. So you’re going to have to look at an entirely new set of numbers with him playing maybe half his minutes or more at PF, and with some legitimate competition for go-to scorers and playmakers.

      • Oct 1, 201312:06 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        @ryan: You can’t take two players who have barely played together and deem them untouchable, especially when they’re both virtually guaranteed to be MAX money players. Last season, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond were our best players, but when they played together the team looked basically like shit. Greg was effective when he was on the floor with a bunch of shooters, but when Drummond was on the floor with him, he wasn’t effective at all. They’re both centers, and you absolutely NEED to see some evidence that they can play together AND BE GREAT or you’re wasting your potential by holding onto them both. There’s a very real possibility that their weaknesses as a duo outweigh their strengths.
         
        And on top of that, Monroe is just a jack-of-all-trades, master of NONE on offense. Even given enough space to operate, every single offensive option Monroe provides is mediocre in the grand scheme of things. He does a lot well, but he doesn’t have a true go-to move when the team needs a bucket. He’s more effective in the low post than the high post, but you’ve got two other big men who are stronger than he is and need to operate in the post. He’s not much more mobile than a pylon, and he’s not some wizard at passing. He’s just a #1 option on a terrible team, and we’re much better off not having to rely on him. He should be a third or fourth option on a good team, and he’s a center besides. Oh, and his defense is terrible. Why are people so hot for this guy?

        • Feb 20, 201410:32 am
          by johnnyboy

          Reply

          Couldn’t agree more Otis. IF we didn’t have Drummond we pay Monroe and build around his obvious limitations. But we do have Drummond. Monroe is not worth max money playing PF.

    • Sep 29, 20133:54 pm
      by sc8581

      Reply

      Very well said, we have to trade him

  • Sep 29, 20131:45 am
    by Some Dude

    Reply

    It’s his 4th season, and he’ll be playing for a max deal.  I think we’ll all see him have a career year, and with all the talent this team has, it’s gonna help him be better. He’s one of the most all around skilled young big man of the last 10 years. It’d be silly to let him walk, unless the Pistons get some big time players back for him in a trade. I don’t want to see him go, but that all depends on who the Pistons might get in a potential trade. 

    • Sep 29, 20139:12 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      If the fact that he is in a contract year is the reason he has a career year, that’s very bad news. Because that almost certainly then means he gets a max contract and never again lives up to it.

  • Sep 29, 20134:03 am
    by Radog

    Reply

    I’d like to see Monroe improve his athleticism and conditioning.  This is his fourth NBA season. I know he will never be on the level of Josh Smith or Drummond in this department, but he could change his body composition a bit.  It would help him play stronger in the post, have a quicker first step, and show better lateral movement.  Having a quicker first step would force the defender to account for the dribble drive, which would give him an extra tick to get off his mid-range jumper.

  • Sep 29, 201310:08 am
    by Jens

    Reply

    I think we have to differentiate between the following questions:

    1. Do we like the idea of having Moose on our team long term, Pairing him with Andre and Josh?

     My answer to this is a clear yes, at least until there is some evidence it does not work out (after 1 or 2 years).

    2. Does the market dictate to give Moose a max extension or contract?

    I´d say it does.

    3. Can we afford to have 3 players for 2 positions who make more than 14 millions per, 3 years down the road and still be able to pay a good backcourt and a good SF?

    Clear no imo

    4. Do we believe Moose would be worth the max for another NBA team without crushing their salary structure?

    Clear yes imo. A good example are the Boston Celtics. Monroe would by far be their best PF/C (Cumon, he´s better than Olynik or Sullinger), and they probably just have one more max contract within the next 4 years. That´s their first rounder 2014, assuming they trade Rondo. 

    Considering this, I would say there are 3 ways this could go. Either they trade him at the deadline (e.g. Moose + Jennings for a healthy Rondo) or they let him become a FA and try to work out a s&t for a very good / elite SF the next off season. Or they sign him to a max extension right now, hope he will further improve and try to trade him when Andre is up for his max deal.      

    • Oct 1, 201312:32 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      Hi Jens (from Cologne, by chance?) The main place where we disagree is this 1-2 year window for this team to jell. That’s too long to wait, and if they can’t jell after two full seasons, it’s going to DEVASTATE Monroe’s value. So at that point you’re highly motivated to trade him, because he costs a FORTUNE and this experiment isn’t working, and you’re going to be lucky just to UNLOAD him… so forget about getting legitimate value for him.
       
      I don’t see what Monroe could do right now to increase his value– because it’s settled: He’s getting a max contract– but there are many ways it could plummet. I mean, it looks very much to me like his game has plateaued. It’s at a high level, but still plateaued. And how patient can we possibly be in waiting for him to develop some more athleticism or defense? At some point it’s just not happening.
       
      So I think you have until February to evaluate things. After that (including a sign-and-trade) you’re just not going to get fair value for him. You think another team is going to give him $60 mil AND give us an elite small forward? Fat chance. Our best bet if we want to flip him for a stud SF (and that’s exactly what I think we should do) is to trade him while he’s still on his cheap rookie contract.

    • Feb 20, 201410:37 am
      by johnnyboy

      Reply

      There is no sign and trade option. Once Monroe signs an offer sheet from another team the CBA prohibits a sign and trade. It’s either match or let him walk for nothing.

  • Sep 29, 201310:37 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    I don’t think there is a a severe cap problem, if managed well. There is no issue until Dre’s extension kicks in the 2016/17 season. That’s Josh’s last year at 13.5m. Assuming Monroe and Dre both get $15m per year, they’ll have about 49m committed to Monroe, Drummond, smith, KCP, and Mitchell. Assume 10m for a PG, whether that’s Jennings or someone else. They could then still have $10m in a small forward and be under today’s luxury tax cap, much less 4 years from now. And smith would come off the books, be resigned for less, or traded before KCP would need a new contract- assuming he’s worth paying 4 years from now.  

     

    • Sep 29, 20136:32 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      This math assumes paying $0 for the rest of the team. That number will probably be more like $20M. Even $10M would be exceedingly cheap for the sum of unimportant players on the team.

      • Sep 30, 201311:08 am
        by Corey

        Reply

        I’m assuming that the backups don’t need to be paid a ton. That’s not such a long stretch.  It’s possible that for the one year Drummond is getting paid and Smith is still on his current contract, there will be some salary cap issues. But that requires that:

        1 – Jennings or some other PG on the roster be have a $10m+ contact.
        2 – Some SF on the roster has a $10m-ish contract.

        The question then is if these guys are WORTH their contracts.

        If you told me that 3 years from now, Drummond and Monroe were both all-stars with $15m/year contracts, and that the team also had two starters WORTH $10m/year at PG and SF, plus Josh smith and KCP – in his fourth year and still on his rookie contract for about $65m, I’d feel very comfortable that they’d have a contending team with another.  In fact, it’s probably even easier than this. If Dre, Monroe, and Smith work out together, we’ll only need a backup SF, who won’t be paid anything like $10m.  If they don’t work together, Smith or Monroe will likely be gone by then, making plenty of cap available for a different start SF.

        The question, as always, is whether the players live up to their contracts.

        • Sep 30, 20133:45 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          There are going to be at least 7 more guys on the roster after the ones you mentioned. At least two to three of them will be making upwards of $2.5M. The rest will average over $1M annually. And that is an extraordinarily cheap set of backups that will still run a team close to $15M all told.

          That’s not paying them a ton. That’s paying them really cheaply. But that is still a sizable salary hit that you have to account for. 

          • Oct 1, 201312:36 am
            by Otis

            1) Some people staunchly refuse to face reality.
             
            2) This guy is 100% focused on money. What about chemistry? It’s not just about what the team can afford at the end of the day, it’s about chemistry and how the pieces fit. I’m not going to bother arguing whether or not we can afford these guys, because why couldn’t we? We’ll just end up with his bogus imaginary team that has no bench and no flexibility whatsoever. The money doesn’t matter if the formula doesn’t even work.

  • Sep 29, 201312:03 pm
    by The Guru

    Reply

    We’ll match any contract that Monroe receives…Dumars isn’t going to change, he allows his players to go into free agency and test the market…Nothing new here…

    • Sep 29, 20132:53 pm
      by Anthony

      Reply

      It’s not dumars letting him test FA. It’s moose’s agent that wants him to. He’s said it a million times that he doesn’t like his players negotiating early. He’s Roy hibbert’s agent also, and he did the same thing. 

      • Sep 29, 20134:46 pm
        by joe dumars

        Reply

        It wouldn’t surprise me if Falk got Monroe an offersheet with Portland like he did with Hibbert. Portland tried to offersheet Splitter this last offseason too.

      • Sep 29, 20136:36 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        If that’s his uniform stance, Falk’s an idiot. That may be the best plan with Monroe. But rarely is “always do things the same way” the optimal plan. Nor is it a way to secure much confidence from your clients. If he just does the exact same thing for everyone, why can’t they do that themselves? What are they giving him a cut for?

      • Sep 30, 20131:00 am
        by The Guru

        Reply

        @Ant: If Dumars wanted to, he could have offered Monroe a 4yr max already…By allowing Monroe to go into FA we get a chance to allow teams to offer Monroe less than the max or totally max him out…I hear what you’re saying about Falk disliking negotiating early, but if Dumars put a 4yr/62mil deal in-front of Falk I don’t think he’ll turn that down…Dumars is all about chance my fellow Piston fans…Either way, max money or damn near max money, I think we’ll match all offers…

        • Sep 30, 20134:49 am
          by joe dumars

          Reply

          Falk on Monroe

          “Greg isn’t gonna go backwards between his third and fourth year,” Falk said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done an extension after a third year. In the 90′s you maxed out a guy after his second, but the (CBA) rules are different now.”
          “When I evaluate things, with a player of Greg’s stature: Take the money out of the equation. I can get it from five different teams. ‘Are there players I want to play with? A coach I want to play for? A city I want to live in?’ My job is to make the money as insignificant as possible (relatively).” 

          • Sep 30, 20139:16 am
            by tarsier

            Falk may say that. But those factors aren’t highly relevant because, as an RFA, Monroe doesn’t get to choose where he lands.

          • Sep 30, 20131:00 pm
            by joe dumars

            Don’t be so naïve.  He can choose where he signs an offersheet, and look how Evans and Jennings pressed this issue this past summer.

          • Sep 30, 20133:42 pm
            by tarsier

            Evans and Jennings changed teams because their old teams didn’t want them. At least not at the prices others were willing got offer.

            You should stop being so naive. Dumars can match any offer for Monroe. So if Detroit wants Monroe even on a max deal, they will keep him. 

          • Sep 30, 20133:56 pm
            by joe dumars

            It was mostly the other way around buddy. Evans refused to sign the offersheet with the Pelicans he agreed to with them until the Kings agreed to trade him.

            If Monroe and Falk don’t like the situation with Pistons they can easily force his way out.   

             

          • Sep 30, 20135:16 pm
            by tarsier

            No, they can’t. You don’t understand RFA. If he wants out, and quickly, he can ask to be traded. But the Pistons don’t have to acquiesce. That leaves him with one course of action: sign the QO and play another year underpaid.

            Evans may have refused to sign until the Kings agreed to trade him, but do you seriously believe he would have just sat out the entire season unwilling to sign? And even if he did, I believe the Kings would still have his rights.

            No, eventually he was going to have to sign a contract with some team if he wanted to keep playing in the NBA. And as soon as he did, the Kings had the right to match.

            The difference is that Reke wasn’t a max-worthy player. So he signed for more than Sacramento wanted him for. So they were incentivized to ship him out. As long as Detroit is happy to pay Monroe the max, this situation can’t happen to them. If you think it can, you don’t understand restricted free agency.

          • Sep 30, 20137:29 pm
            by joe dumars

            Oh so Dumars is going to match an offersheet even if Monroe doesn’t want to come back? I perfectly understand RFA. I think as long they could work out a reasonable S/T he’d oblige him

            Evans held off signing to the offersheet, because he and his agent believed the KINGS WOULD MATCH. I doubt they would have used the tactic if they thought it would drag on. The problem with that tactic it puts teams in limbo for free agency, and extending their own players.     

          • Sep 30, 20139:46 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier   I don’t know why you seem to totally ignore the notion that teams don’t want players on their teams who don’t want to be there.   How many restricted free agents do you remember who vocally asked out and were matched against their wishes?  I can remember a few but most of the time teams don’t force a player to play for them against their will and I doubt it looks good to players around the league when teams do it.  

          • Sep 30, 201311:13 pm
            by tarsier

            It’s true that Dumars could be an idiot and let Monroe walk if he wanted to. But for some reason, I still think he has more intelligence than that. Even if he didn’t want him on the Pistons because Monroe didn’t want to be there, unless a fantastic S/T were offered, he may as well just match and then wait however long before he is allowed to shop Monroe to the whole league rather than just one team.

          • Oct 1, 201312:40 am
            by Otis

            Tarsier, you have a tremendous amount of patience for debating ridiculous points with people who aren’t on your level. It’s admirable in a way I guess, but it’s also kind of infuriating. There’s so much ignorance on sports message boards, you have to just give up sometimes.

  • Sep 29, 20135:15 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    What we really, really need to do is deal Josh Smith to Chicago at the trade deadline for Luol Deng and the Bulls pick. Chicago gets to start Jimmy Butler and add an athlete to their defense while avoiding losing Luol Deng for nothing. We might have to take on a little salary or something but it can be managed.

    We get a player how actually fits here in terms of position, a guy who has been in playoff wars and won some and a guy who fits the mold we should be trying to build. (If it’s not clear that mold is tough, dedicated, hard working and smart.)

    Then this summer we sign Greg Monroe and Luol Deng and we’re more or less set aside from tinkering around the edges. Oh and after we sign Deng we make the playoffs and win round one.

    If Joe Dumars really has some magic working he’ll take the Chicago pick and Brandon Jennings somehow turn that into the pick that allows us to draft Marcus Smart.

    We go into 2013-2014 with Deng, Monroe, Andre Drummond, Smart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as our starters with Kyle Singler, Will Bynum, Chauncey Billups, Tony Mitchell and Jonas Jerebko as our bench. The team is talented, balanced and has no knuckleheads. Getting there starts by knowing which assets to build around and which to trade.

    If we do this then suddenly Joe Dumars’ horrible mistake in signing Josh Smith becomes a big boost.

    • Sep 29, 20136:33 pm
      by sc8581

      Reply

      Deng isn’t exactly a great shooter or anything so I don’t see the point of this deal.

    • Sep 29, 20136:50 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would approve of this deal, but I would try to include Jerebko and Bynum.

      There is a lot of potential for mutual benefit, fit-wise, in a Smith for Deng swap. But Smith is the better player by a healthy margin so there would have to be more sweetening than a pick in the 20s. 

      • Sep 29, 201311:37 pm
        by Ryan

        Reply

        You’re right Tarsier and Luol Deng could leave Chicago with nothing so hopefully we can get further sweetener. Deng alone would be a great fit here but it’d be nice to maximize our return.

    • Sep 30, 201312:47 am
      by The Guru

      Reply

      Why not just keep Jennings and play Jennings/Smart together while KCP plays 6th man?..If we trade Smith to the Bulls for Deng we better have the Bulls give us the Bobcats pick…

      • Sep 30, 201312:54 am
        by Ryan

        Reply

        If we can get that much for Smith, which I kind of doubt, then we could consider keeping Jennings. As it is I think we’d need to move him in order to draft Smart.

        If it did work that we could keep Jennings and draft Smart with a pick from the Bulls then I think Marcus Smart would make an ideal first year 6th man while he learns the ropes.

        I really, really hope that we can turn Josh Smith and/or Brandon Jennings into assets so that we can move them for pieces which fit.

        • Sep 30, 20139:19 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          What’s wrong with Jennings’ fit? He’s not a phenomenal player, but he should be able to maximize himself with this team. 

    • Sep 30, 20131:45 am
      by Max

      Reply

      I don’t like trading for Deng because he gets hurt too often.

      • Sep 30, 20139:42 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I think he would get hurt a lot less often if he wasn’t playing for the Bulls who try to give him 40+ minutes every night.

        But my biggest problem with trading for Deng is that as things currently stand, he’s kinda the perfect target for the Pistons in 2014 free agency. Although, I think I’d be just as happy with Pierce or Granger. 

    • Oct 1, 201312:45 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      Ryan, why do you assume Monroe and Drummond can play together? Why must Smith be the odd-man-out? Sure Smith is older than Monroe, but Monroe’s career trajectory looks very much like he plateaued in his second season (a relatively high plateau, but a plateau nonetheless). After this season, Monroe is going to be more expensive than Smith. Monroe doesn’t play defense. Smith has firmly established himself as a capable Power Forward, Monroe has not. But bottom line, if Moose and Drummond can’t play well together (and they didn’t last year) then you’re not going to trade Smith to keep them together.

      • Oct 1, 201310:28 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        To be fair, I still have high hopes that Monroe and Drummond can play well together. Last season told us next to nothing because they almost never shared the court.

        Obviously playing them together creates spacing issues. But apart from that, they have what appear to be highly complimentary skill sets:

        They are both good offensive rebounders, which provides much less diminishing returns than defensive rebounding. Monroe is a good passer, Drummond is a good finisher. Monroe has moves and finesse to Drummond’s brute force and explosive athleticism. Drummond excels as a weak-side help defender. Monroe is most competent as a strong side defender who simply bodies people up and stays between them and the basket. Unfortunately, he still gets moved too easily, but that really is something he should be able to improve, he has the necessary tools to stand his ground. And he provides a bonus with that role in that he is very good at swiping away the ball from a post player trying to make a move. If Monroe can develop any range whatsoever (or if Drummond can), they would pretty much be perfect complimentary big men, at least on paper. So I need to see a bigger sample size of it not working well before I write them off as a good pairing.

        • Oct 3, 20139:11 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          BTW, I am often criticized here for only looking at stats. I just wanted to point out that that isn’t the case. Most of my arguments will be based on stats because that is far and away the easiest way to make a point.

          I am willing to make and consider arguments like this, not based on stats. But when you don’t use stats, you still have to back up your points for them to be meaningful.

          If your argument is “I watched the game therefore you must take my word on it that Player B is better than Player A”, that’s a bullshit argument. Use evidence, whether the readily available stats or the more challenging explanations.

      • Oct 1, 20138:00 pm
        by ryan

        Reply

        Tarsier does an excellent job of explaining why it is likely that Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond can play together so I’ll leave that alone. The reason you trade Josh Smith is that he has never been a winner and will very likely never be one. He’s inefficient and hasn’t shown a willingness to change his bad habits. He’s also a knucklehead and doesn’t fit at small forward. He’s only valuable t this team if we can trade him for something of value. Trading Smith for Luol Deng would be an ideal way to do just that.

        • Oct 2, 20133:38 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Why is Deng a winner and Smith not?   Smith has gotten to the 2nd round of the playoffs three times and did once did give an eventual champion their toughest series and it was a series when Smith really shined.   

          • Oct 2, 20134:35 pm
            by tarsier

            Yeah, I don’t buy into the winner argument either. Inefficiency and knuckle-headedness are valid gripes. I just think they focus too much on the negatives. Every player has negatives. What matters is if the balance of the positives and negatives make him worth his deal.

  • Sep 29, 20138:35 pm
    by Jim H

    Reply

    This post doesn’t make sense. Even if the Pistons don’t want to pay him the Max and they wait, and he is about to get a max offer, they can still work a sign and trade pretty easily as it benefits Monroe to take a sign and trade…. but i think the post is meaningless, Monroe will be resigned and he’s worth max money if he takes a step forward this year. If he doesnt and the pistons struggle, they’ll trade him. There’s no worry there. 

    • Sep 29, 201311:32 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      But they have a lot less leverage with a sign and trade. Because then their options are basically sign him for more than they want to or trade him for what the one team they can negotiate with is willing to offer.

      They would almost certainly get a lot less in a sign and trade than a straight up trade. 

      • Sep 30, 20131:47 am
        by Max

        Reply

        Wouldn’t they then also have more money in free agency so that it would be the player from the trade and the one signed? 

        • Sep 30, 20139:36 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          That would depend on the specifics. But they could get less value for Monroe in a sing and trade than in a trade this season.

          Less value could mean a lesser player on a smaller contract, yes. But it could also mean an equal player on a bigger contract.

          The point is, if the Pistons were to decide to trade Monroe, they could get a better return now than next offseason.

          If the Pistons did trade Monroe, I think the smartest players to target would be Love, Beal, Valanciunas, McLemore, Porter, or Oladipo. Love because he would be an upgrade and the others because they have several cheap years left, allowing for another big dip into free agency this coming offseason. And they all have at least the potential to be as good as Monroe.

          Heck, if the Pistons had Jennings, Pope, Smith, Drummond, and any one of those guys on the roster, they could make an excellent case that they would give James a better chance to win more titles than any other team in the league. 

          • Sep 30, 20132:33 pm
            by joe dumars

            In a straight up trade you may be aiming a little high with some of those names, and a few wouldn’t make sense to trade for like Val. Harkess, T. Harris, or maybe Barnes might more realistic.

          • Sep 30, 20133:40 pm
            by tarsier

            Why wouldn’t Valanciunas make sense? Toronto gets an immediate upgrade which they’ve shown they’re willing to spend for (Rudy Gay). Detroit gets two extra seasons of cheap big man production. The similarities or differences between the players aren’t the point. Unless you have some reason why the skill set trade-off would be a negative, I find the contractual difference a big enough positive.

            And apart from Love, Monroe is better than all the guys I listed. If all teams will give up for him is Harkless, Harris, or Barnes, forget it. That’s a bullshit offer. Those guys just aren’t close to worth it. Those are the sorts of guys you could expect to get back if you let yourself get to the situation where you have to work out a sign and trade so you’ve lost all leverage.

          • Sep 30, 20134:03 pm
            by joe dumars

            Why the Hell would the Pistons trade for Val when the have Drummond? You’re right Love is the only guy that, but I don’t see some of those guys being dealt like Beal or Oladipo who I’m very high on.

            If you’re trading Monroe for Harkless, Tobias Harris, or Barnes it wouldn’t be a 1 for 1 deal, dude.

          • Sep 30, 20134:07 pm
            by joe dumars

            Another problem I have with this idea of trading Monroe for Val you’re not adding any of the shooting ability you would want with Val when that’s the one of reasons you would look to trade Monroe in the 1st place. Redundancy for redundancy basically.

          • Sep 30, 20135:18 pm
            by tarsier

            Once again, the point would be the contracts. If you trade Monroe for a player almost as good who will be paid far less next season, that means you can add a much better FA than you otherwise would.

            Are you not reading my comments before replying? Or do you just not understand the concept of a salary cap?

          • Sep 30, 20137:11 pm
            by joe dumars

            LOL I understand the salary cap completely, and who is this much better FA its going to lead to? Lebron or Carmelo? lol

            Trading away Monroe for just because you like value of the contract, and someone who wouldn’t be a starter is ridiculous.  Especially if you’re banking on it leading to a bigger fish.

          • Sep 30, 201311:20 pm
            by tarsier

            “If you’re trading Monroe for Harkless, Tobias Harris, or Barnes it wouldn’t be a 1 for 1 deal, dude.”

            One would hope not, but when you trade a stud for multiple pieces in the NBA, you will lose that trade about 95% of the time. 

            “LOL I understand the salary cap completely, and who is this much better FA its going to lead to? Lebron or Carmelo? lol” 

            If it did, great. Although I’m not really a fan of Carmelo; I’m not entirely sold on the idea that he is worth a max deal. But that is neither here nor there. I would rather have Valanciunas+Deng/Pierce/Granger/Nowitzki than Monroe.

            Once again, my entire point is that it is better to have a guy worth $12M for $3M than a guy worth $16M for $15M. Do you honestly disagree? 

  • Sep 30, 201310:32 am
    by XstreamINsanity

    Reply

    I did not read anyone’s responses above, so I apologize if I repeat what some may have already said.

    Going under the assumption that the Pistons are willing to pay Monroe the max, the Pistons should NOT sign Monroe to a max extension before October 31. There’s a couple of reasons why.  As was stated in the article, there is a chance the Pistons could get him on the cheap and that would be totally awesome.

    But even if they don’t get him on the cheap, they should still wait until the off season. Each Organization can only have one player whom they’ve resigned to a 5 year extension.  For the Pistons, that should be Drummond. And unless I don’t understand the CBA that well (which there’s a very good chance I don’t), if they resigned Monroe to a 5 year extension now, they couldn’t do the same to Drummond because Monroe would still be on that extension at that time.  By letting him become a free agent and getting even a max offer from another team, they can ONLY give him 4 years.  This way, they avoid the awkward conversation of “Why wouldn’t you just offer me the 5 year max?”

    Another reason to wait until the off season is because of Monroe’s cap hold and the Pistons signing another free agent.  This season will show where we need to fill in some holes. At the end of the season, at least Stuckey and Villanueva should likely be gone.  We’ll need to replace them and part of the money they currently get will be going to Monroe.  We’re allowed to go over the cap to resign our rookies, but we can’t do the same as easily for free agents.  Therefore, we could potentially sign another $5-$8M free agent and THEN resign Monroe.  If we do it the other way, we’ll be stuck around $3M I believe for a free agent. 

    I want Monroe to stay, and I believe he deserves a Max extension, but not yet. 

    • Sep 30, 20131:44 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      When this article refers to giving Monroe a max deal, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean the one-per-franchise 5 year max. It means the normal 4 year version.

      But I agree that it makes sense to wait. Unless the front office has a reason to believe that Monroe would take a one-year QO to get out of Detroit afterwards, the Pistons can match offers anyway. And it’s not like it should bruise his ego. It’s easy to sell it to him as “we’ll get your deal worked out after we spend our cap space so we can field the best team possible”. Largely because that should actually be true.

      Also, since the last few seasons have sucked, what reason would Monroe have to sign for anything less than the most he can get? It may be a slim chance, but there is at least some chance that if the Pistons have a good season, Dumars could sell him with the idea that they need him to take a little less in order to keep the gang together long-term. 

    • Oct 1, 201312:53 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      1) Insanity is right. He is NOT getting less than the max. Jesus Christ almighty. It’s impossible to take your ideas seriously when you think there is a GHOST of a chance that a healthy Monroe signs a tidy little sub-max contract.
       
      2) There is absolutely NO way around the awkward “We’re giving the 5-year deal to Drummond” conversation. Monroe isn’t stupid. He either accepts that fact, tries to play so well that the team reconsiders (they won’t), or feels totally snubbed. But that’s the elephant in the room. Greg Monroe and his agent aren’t so stupid that they’ll think it was just happenstance that made Drummond the 5-year max player instead of Monroe.
       
      3) Where does this pie-in-the-sky optimism come from? And how to we obliterate it so we can actually discuss parameters that exist in the real world?

      • Oct 1, 201310:34 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Why would it have to be awkward to tell Monroe “Look, we think you’re fantastic; we really want you on this team, but you’re the second best player behind Drummond. You know that, you play with him all the time.”?

        Really good players often play with even better players. And if Monroe actually does “prove himself” to the point that he is undebatably a top 5 big man in the league, even better. I’ll happily give him the 5-year deal for that level of improvement and later tell Drummond that Monroe already has the 5-year deal but Detroit can still give him slightly more money than anyone else and the continued opportunity to play with the incredible player that Monroe apparently is by that point.

  • Sep 30, 20131:19 pm
    by Pat

    Reply

    Remember when Joe let Big Ben go to Chicago because they paid him max money for 4 years ($60 mil) We offered him $48 mil and basically let the best piston since Grant Hill walk over 3 mil a year. That probably had more to do with Mr D not wanting to go into the luxury tax than Joe not thinking he was worth that contract.  We won 63 games or something the following year but lost to the cavs because we couldn’t stop a young Lebron from getting to the paint at will.  With Big Ben, we would have won that series and probably another championship.  I hope he doesn’t make that mistake again.  
    Whatever we’re willing to pay Greg (probably something similar to Josh Smith’s deal at 13 mil a season) is only a few million less than the max.  Joe has all the leverage since he’s restricted and can match any offer so waiting till next year is the right move.  Maybe that will scare away some would-be suitors but either way, we need to pay Moose whatever is necessary this offseason.  Somebody made a good point about only having 1 player at a 5 year deal and obviously we should hold out for Dre to be the 5 year guy but a max deal at 4 years over letting him leave shouldn’t be a problem.  Hopefully Gores is willing to pay a little bit of luxury tax in 2016 or whatever year Dre’s big contract kicks in.  If the fans start coming back to the palace like they did back in the “going to work” days, hopefully he will.  If they let Moose walk over a few mil like they did with big Ben, than I will be one of the fans that won’t be coming to the palace any more.  

    • Sep 30, 20131:46 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Wow, this has got to be the first time I’ve read someone insinuating that letting Wallace go was a mistake. At least, the first time wince we’ve had the asset of hindsight. Did you see Ben’s play over the seasons of that contract?

      • Sep 30, 20135:28 pm
        by Einstein

        Reply

        Have to agree w/ Tarsier here – its hard to say it, but Ben never lived up to that contract. I just watched an ESPN classic game the other day – if McDyess hadn’t been ridiculously ejected in the 1st quarter for a hard foul on Varejao in game 5 of the 07 Finals against Cleveland, we probably would have won that game and likely the series. Whether we would have won the Finals, eh who knows – Saunders wasn’t the coach that Brown was and I believe was soft with his players. But it wasn’t because we didn’t have Ben Wallace.

        Monroe has been a very good player on a very bad team….anyone see where I’m going with this? I’d keep him for 10 million a year but someone else will pay him a lot more so with that said our only option is to trade him. Smith can play the 4, will rebound nearly as well, block more shots, get more steals, and play better post and individual defense than Moose. We all know this. This also allows us to search for an elite SF or attempt to receive an elite floor spacing 4 in return for Moose…..something along the lines of LaMarcus Aldridge.

        • Sep 30, 20139:29 pm
          by sc8581

          Reply

          Nice post Einstein, agree with everything you said. If we were to somehow keep Monroe at $10 million per I would still bring him off the bench to not only avoid redundancy and maximize his abilities but we don’t have any other bigs worthy of minutes and we wouldn’t have to worry about adding any in the near future if we did this.

          I think worst case scenario we have an aggressive on both ends of the floor SG that can hit open shots with KCP so SF would be the only hole we might have to fill next summer if we don’t do it by dealing Moose sooner than that.

          • Sep 30, 20139:51 pm
            by Max

            I think KCP is a big reason to wait at least a couple of months before even thinking about trading Monroe.  If KCP is good, then SFs will be the obvious targets if the frontline can’t play together but if KCP doesn’t look good, then a wing at either position or both should be the goal.   This line of thought can also include Datome.  The Pistons need to see what they have whether it reduces Monroe’s trade value or not.  

          • Sep 30, 201311:24 pm
            by tarsier

            Book it, by the end of this season, KCP will be seen as a SG/SF. His size is basically typical of generic wings as is his skill set. I just don’t get this obsession you have with the idea that Pope has to play SG not SF.

          • Oct 1, 201312:56 am
            by Max

            Not sure where any of what you said is coming from.   The main point I was making is that the team needs to see what KCP and Datome are and whether the frontline can work before making a decision as big as whether to retain or trade Monroe.   Why make such a choice now rather than three months from now?  

            What if Datome is great and KCP is a bust?  Then the team will need a sg more than anything regardless of whether KCP can technically fill either position.   And I really don’t see why you are so sure the question of KCP’s position is irrelevant and I don’t ever remember saying anything like I thought KCP needs to play SG instead of SF.    I don’t see though that it’s wrong to assume he should be a shooting guard until he proves he can play both spots–a team should I believe, all things being equal, play big instead of playing small and KCP is the perfect size to play shooting guard but would create a small ball lineup at the three.  

             

          • Oct 1, 201312:58 am
            by Max

            And further, the team manifestly needs a good shooting guard now more than any other position and KCP is the best hope to be that player.  

          • Oct 1, 20131:00 am
            by Max

            So whatever you thought was my obsession with the idea that KCP has to play SG rather than SF has more to the the needs of the Pistons than anything specific about him.   It’s the team as currently composed that requires a starting shooting guard.  The rest of the spots are ably filled.   

          • Oct 1, 201310:45 am
            by tarsier

            I would argue that the team needs a good shooting wing. Whether it’s a SG or SF is kinda irrelevant because Smith shouldn’t be getting big minutes at SF anyway, even if he starts the game there.

      • Oct 1, 201312:57 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Um, yeah you spotted the part where he said letting Ben go was a mistake… but what about the part (the whole thing) where he acted like Monroe is some untouchable franchise player who we must retain AT ALL COST. I swear to God I’ll never get it. It’s the nerdy virgin who marries the first girl who he has sex with. It’s pathetic. There are so many chemistry questions it’s not even funny. These people are making me hate Greg Monroe.

        • Oct 1, 20131:18 am
          by Max

          Reply

          I’m hoping Monroe and the team can answer your questions regarding the chemistry issues.  If not, I agree Monroe or maybe Smith should be traded.  However, don’t you think you should see the team play together even one time before being so sure that the team will be as bad or as unworkable as you must think?  

          And regarding giving Monroe the max.   It’s not like giving a veteran the max.   He’s not going to make Joe Johnson’s 120 million.  The cost would probably around half.   And if the Pistons give it to him and decide to trade him, do you really think he will be so difficult to move with such a contract?  He’s a 23 year old big who has averaged missing a game a season so far while being his team’s best player for about 2 and a 1/2 out of his 3 seasons.   If we’ve learned anything about contracts, it’s that any of them can be traded so I doubt his contract would ever be that hard to move unless he suffered a major injury.        
          All that said, I’m all for letting things play out this off season and not giving Monroe such an extension until next summer if he proves worth it.    

          • Oct 1, 20132:46 am
            by sc8581

            Monroe’s value has nowhere to go but down at this point, if he’s locked into a MAX deal he will be untradeable shortly after he signs it.

          • Oct 1, 201310:40 am
            by tarsier

            sc8581,

            3 seasons in and there is no longer any chance for a player to improve? I mean, some players have reached their peak that early, but it’s certainly not the norm. Usually a player hits his prime on his second contract.

        • Oct 1, 201310:39 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          The problem with your “marrying the first girl” analogy is that retaining Monroe doesn’t prevent the Pistons from having someone else as well.

          I agree that the stance shouldn’t be keeping Monroe if someone better could be had for him. But here’s the thing with a max contract, it limits how much a team can pay a guy. So if a player is worth at least that much, there is no concern of overpaying for him. Hence the “at any cost” because “any cost” has an upper limit.

          • Oct 1, 201311:49 am
            by sc8581

            Players that have athleticism improve during their 2nd contracts, players like Monroe never get better, see Al Jefferson.

          • Oct 1, 20138:54 pm
            by tarsier

            Starting in 2001, let’s look at a list of the relatively unathletic big men who ever played very well (whether right off the bat or getting there gradually). I’ll compare their best PER from their first contracts to their best PER from their second contracts:

            Pau Gasol, 22.5, 24.1
            Zach Randolph, 19.9, 22.8
            Mehmet Okur, 18.3, 19.0
            Yao Ming, 25.6, 26.5
            Nene, 15.6, 20.4
            Carlos Boozer, 20.8, 24.1
            Chris Bosh, 23.2, 25.0
            David West, 19.7, 20.4
            Andrew Bogut, 17.5, 20.7
            Andrew Bynum, 22.6, 22.9
            David Lee, 20.2, 22.2
            LaMarcus Aldridge, 19.1, 22.7
            Paul Millsap, 17.6, 21.8

            And that’s basically the complete list of guys who have at least mostly played out their second contracts. You can disagree with the inclusion of some names on the basis of they weren’t good enough or they were too athletic, but the point is clear: they all improved. It’s just a matter of whether it was minor improvement or major improvement.

          • Oct 2, 20133:41 pm
            by Max

            Nice list, Tarsier! 

  • Oct 2, 20131:17 pm
    by sc8581

    Reply

    There’s just as long a list of guys that signed their 2nd contracts and disappeared like Raef LaFrentz. Monroe does not have a comparable game to any of those guys anyway so to me your point is moot.

    • Oct 2, 20134:41 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      LaFrentz? The center who shot 46% and never had a season of 8 rpg? How exactly does he compare to Monroe?

      Statistically, Monroe compares favorably to most of my above list. He has already had a season with a PER of 22.0.

      I dare you to make a case that any of those guys (apart from Bosh, Yao, Gasol, Bynum) were better than Monroe on their first contracts.

      And give me your just as long list of guys like Raef LaFrentz with at least two or three guys on it who approached Monroe’s play on their first contracts.

    • Oct 2, 20134:58 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      LaFrentz was basically the first coming of Bargnani. If you want a comparison for Monroe, try Boozer. Through their first three years:

      Boozer (31.0 mpg):
      13.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.8 topg, 52/12/74, 19.4 PER, .337 FTA/FGA

      Monroe (30.8 mpg):
      13.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.1 topg, 51/00/69, 19.8 PER, .376 FTA/FGA 

      Do you have any idea how incredibly similar those numbers are? 

      • Oct 3, 20135:09 am
        by sc8581

        Reply

        I wasn’t saying LaFrentz was similar to Monroe, except for the fact Moose will also not improve or be worthy of a big contract. If Boozer is your argument for giving Monroe a MAX deal than you’re in trouble, he’s the 4th best player on his team and making big time money, they thought about using the amnesty on him lol. You’re using stats as too much of your argument by the way.

        • Oct 3, 20139:04 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Boozer is also no longer on his second contract. Boozer was worth his money during his Jazz days and you’d be an idiot to think otherwise.

          You may think I am using stats as too much of my argument, if so, make a legitimate non-stats-based argument. I’m all ears (or eyes, I guess). But I’ll take my stats based argument over your argument so far which boils down to:

          LaFrentz didn’t improve from his rookie deal to his second contract so Monroe, who is in no way at all a similar player, won’t either. Never mind the fact that virtually every player who did have some similarity to Monroe did in fact improve over their second contracts. 

        • Oct 3, 20139:05 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          “I wasn’t saying LaFrentz was similar to Monroe, except for the fact Moose will also not improve or be worthy of a big contract.”

           Seriously? If you’re not saying he is similar to Monroe in any other way, why are you drawing this parallel at all? And what is your basis for thinking it is true?

          • Oct 3, 20131:14 pm
            by Max

            Down goes sc8581!   Down goes sc8581!  

          • Oct 3, 20131:25 pm
            by sc8581

            The players you listed do not have similar games to Monroe either, I don’t have time to make a list for you. Boozer has been overpaid since he left Cleveland, he’s had talent around him and done nothing, he’s not and never was worthy of a MAX contract.

          • Oct 3, 20139:02 pm
            by Max

            Boozer time with Utah was extremely successful to the point that he got overrated.   Then he signed a big deal and because he’s not a top twenty or thirty player anymore, the backlash against him has made him underrated.   No way the Bulls get to the 2nd round without him last year and no way the Jazz make the conference finals.   He was and is one of the better scoring, rebounding bigs in the league and he does show up during playoff runs.  Most players would love to have Boozer’s career.

  • Oct 4, 20132:15 am
    by sc8581

    Reply

    He’s a contributor not a MAX player and never was.

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