For the first time since the end of the regular season, Pistons big man Greg Monroe has talked to the media about his unique position this offseason as one of the more talented restricted free agents that will become major targets for teams across the league.
Monroe spoke with The Times-Picayune’s Nakia Hogan during a current stint this weekend in the New Orleans area for his local charity basketball camp for youth. When asked about the free agent process, Monroe was pretty open about the whole situation.
“Most people would rather, if possible, not to have to go through it and just re-sign with the team they are with so you can have some stability and be secure,” he said. “Right now it’s like the draft process all over again. You don’t know if you will have to change cities or where you will end up. It’s a good thing that there are teams out there that want me. But at the end of the day, if I didn’t have to do it, I wouldn’t have a problem with that either.”
Monroe told Hogan that he and Stan Van Gundy have stayed in constant contact through through text message.
The quote is rather interesting because it shows just how much angst there is in the process of being a free agent. It’s not as lucrative as being an unrestricted free agent. Practically any team in the NBA can put a bid in for your services, and if it is not met by your current team — you have no basically no choice but to play for that franchise.
Though it’s a tough position to be in, Monroe told Hogan on Saturday that it’s one that he enjoys to some extent.
“I’m hoping and praying that I will have some options,” Monroe said without divulging any potential landing spots. “As it looks right now I will have some. But I am just preparing myself and doing the normal things that I would around this time, working out. And on July 1, I’ll be with my agent and we’ll go through the process together.”
There is no doubt that Monroe and his agent David Falk will have the ability to mold options into opportunity. Falk has landed some major restricted free agent contracts. The last being Roy Hibbert, who nearly became a Portland Trail Blazer before Falk and Pacers brass worked out a four-year, $58 million contract in 2012.
One of the teams that would be interested in tendering a deal, would be his hometown New Orleans Pelicans. According to various reports, the Pelican front office would love to see the offensive/defensive tandem of Anthony Davis and center and Monroe at power forward.
The Pelicans join a list of multiple teams that could be interested in Monroe’s services. The Lakers, Mavericks, Spurs, Hornets and Hawks have all been reportedly considering putting in an offer sheet for the Pistons big man on July 1st.
Monroe’s feelings towards signing a max deal with another team is a bit concerning, but it’s too early in the process to really gauge whether he wants to truly be a Piston or not.
No matter how he feels about Detroit and the recently hired Stan Van Gundy regime, he’s not going to share any impartial feelings before the biggest payday of his life.
Without a doubt, Monroe is going to land a max contract heading into next season.