November 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe (10) goes for a rebound as Los Angeles Lakers center Jordan Hill (27) reaches with center Pau Gasol (16) and point guard Steve Blake (5) in position during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Palace Picks: Latest on Greg Monroe

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When is the last time a Detroit Piston turned free agent received the type of love that Greg Monroe is right now? Thinking back off my head, it has to be Ben Wallace, who landed that monster contract with the Chicago Bulls.

There are tons of rumors swirling around about where Monroe will and up, what he’s demanding and what the best fit is for the Pistons.

One thing we do know is that he isn’t going to ask for full control of a teams roster, go postal, and then sign with the Bucks.

Let’s get to it. Here’s today’s Palace Picks.


We start with Vince Ellis at the Detroit Free Press, who says maybe the best deal for the Pistons and the Monroe camp is a short-term one.

There is a compromise. Monroe and the Pistons could agree on a two- or three-year deal with a player option for the final season.

Under such a scenario, he would give it his best and if things are still trending downward, he can hit the open market at age 26.

The Pistons are in a holding pattern until the matter is resolved. There won’t be any decisions made on Smith’s future until they know Monroe’s address next season.

But the ball is in Monroe’s court.

It’s a great idea in theory, but I don’t see David Falk and Greg Monroe going to the bargaining table and thinking compromise. Monroe is going to get the max — that’s the bottom line.

One thing that is clear is that there will have been a number of teams inquiring about the Monroe’s services. Including the Washington Wizards, who seemed out of the race with their five year deal for Marcin Gortat. Monroe was at the Verizon Center in the nation’s capital last night.

One interesting team in the Greg Monroe hunt is his hometown New Orleans Hornets. Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler says though this morning that the Pelicans are not interested in dealing a good part of their roster.

There is a sense around the league that the Pelicans would be open to moving Eric Gordon and possibly Austin Rivers; however, deals involving Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans or Jrue Holiday are not of much interest to the Pelicans and without question former top pick Anthony Davis is off the board.

That’s an interesting thing to note, considering it would take more than Gordon and Rivers to get Greg Monroe in a sign and trade. Specifically Ryan Anderson. The idea must be that they aren’t shopping him, but he might be part of some Monroe deal if it comes down to it. — The debate all off-season has been whether it would be the right move for the Pistons to keep Greg Monroe or facilitate a sign and trade to get better. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes has an answer for us, which includes freeing Monroe from a roster that doesn’t fit his talents.

Get Monroe on a team with a few shooters, and watch as he rediscovers that passing dimension—to the delight of fans in his new locale. It’s trite to say the Pistons must “Free Monroe,” but it’s also hard to ignore how he’s been so obviously trapped—especially last season. Executing a sign-and-trade would be tricky, but the framework of a speculative deal suggested by David MacKay of Rip City Project that would bring Nicolas Batum back to Detroit as the principal asset is very appealing.

— For those hoping the veteran point guard that the Pistons were targeting was Jameer Nelson, who was recently waived by the Magic, it looks unlikely.

Finally, an interesting piece this morning on the Detroit Pistons website talking with Bill Van Gundy, who has watched his two sons blossom into two of the best coaches of recent memory. A really good read.

“I knew (Stan) was going to coach from the standpoint he or Jeff, neither one, from any time past the third or fourth grade, ever said anything about wanting to do anything else,” said the head of one of basketball’s most fruitful coaching trees, Bill Van Gundy, between practice sessions of Stan’s first summer overseeing all that is Detroit Pistons basketball as both coach and president of basketball operations.

The odds of anybody grabbing one of the 30 NBA coaching jobs available are long. Narrow the group by eliminating all of those who never got a whiff of an NBA playing career and those odds grow exponentially. Now limit the pool to brothers who grew up under the same roof and … well, you’d have a better chance of buying the winning ticket the next time the Powerball jackpot hits $500 million.

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