I participated in a 5-on-5 on ESPN about whether teams should trade their stars or near-stars, and we were asked about Greg Monroe:
5. Fact or Fiction: The Pistons should move Monroe before the deadline.
Adande: Fact. If Greg Monroe had followed a natural progression, he should have been battling for an All-Star spot this season. Instead, his numbers are down all over. The Josh Smith signing gives the Pistons a frontcourt-heavy team at a time when the rest of the league is going to the perimeter. The Pistons are 26th in the league in 3-pointers made. They should trade Monroe, a player without a 3-point attempt this season, for an outside threat.
Elhassan: Faction. I mean, Fict. I mean, it’s complicated. Detroit should try to move Smith, who was an awful signing from a fit perspective, but with almost the entirety of his $54 million still on the books, it’ll struggle to find takers. Unfortunately, the current combination can’t flourish moving forward without the addition of talent (shooting!), and Monroe’s youth, production and right-of-first-refusal status make him the easier trade piece.
Feldman: Fiction. Monroe is one of the NBA’s premier young offensive big men. He doesn’t fit well with the Pistons’ current roster, but they shouldn’t be too concerned with short-term fit. Monroe could fit well with Andre Drummond in three years, and that matters more than the couple of extra wins a lower-upside wing would bring this season.
Strauss: Fact. Perhaps I’m wrong on this, but I believe that offense-first big men are generally overvalued. The exceptions to this philosophy are guys like Dirk Nowitzki who can stretch opposing defenders to the 3-point arc. Monroe can’t stretch the opposing defense, and he doesn’t play good defense. Teams that trade that type of player tend to end up better off.
Sunnergren: Fact. In a perfect world, the Pistons would trade Smith, work out an extension with Monroe and go to bed each night secure in the knowledge that, with him and Drummond, they had one of the top frontcourts in the sport. Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in one where Detroit’s roster is an unworkable disaster and Smoove’s $54 million deal is unmovable. Time to make a deal.
If you want to know whether we’d trade Pau Gasol, Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry, click through to ESPN.