The problem, as the Pistons knew last fall, is that Monroe’s agent is David Falk. He has gotten the price he said he’d get for his clients for two decades — and he says the price for Monroe will be a max contract.
Yet the Pistons aren’t going to move Monroe unless it’s a blockbuster deal. Offering just expiring contracts won’t get it done. The hope in Detroit is that Monroe’s situation is resolved in similar fashion to how Oklahoma City eventually worked out a four-year, $49 million contract with Serge Ibaka before he hit free agency. (The Thunder had the obvious advantage of having Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as lures to play with through the meat of Ibaka’s career.)
If Falk finds a team ready to give Monroe the max or something close to it, expect Detroit to match the offer sheet and worry about the money later.
I hope this is true. I don’t want the Pistons to trade Greg Monroe for anything less than prime return. If they keep him past the trade deadline, I want them to match any offer for him.
But understand, this could also be posturing.
The Pistons must prepare to give Monroe a max contract or trade him, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to pay him less. If they scare off other suitors, maybe Monroe will accept less than a max deal.
Before it gets to that point, maybe the Pistons boost their trade offers by insisting they want to keep him. Some interested teams might be waiting for him to hit free agency, or maybe they think the Pistons will dump him to elevate Josh Smith further.
My hunch is Aldridge’s report is accurate.
For one, he’s an excellent reporter with strong sources across the country. He can dig past the smokescreens teams put up.
I also probably just want to believe it’s true.