There was a bit of uncertainty as to what the Detroit Pistons plans were moving forward with Josh Smith and Greg Monroe, but it appears as if one of those issues has resolved itself. According to Adrian Wojnarowski at yahoo.com, the Pistons intend keep Smith in Detroit in 2014.
“Detroit Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy reached out to forward Josh Smith to tell him that reports of the franchise engaging in substantive trade talks with Sacramento centered on Smith have been inaccurate and – barring an unexpected turn of events – Smith will be in training camp with the Pistons this fall, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
If these reports are true, what does it mean for Greg Monroe? At one time it was believed Monroe wanted Smith traded. Could this be the end of Monroe’s stay in Detroit?
Stan Van Gundy would love to see him back, but admits he has no idea what Monroe will do.
“I don’t have a great feel from him of what he thinks about what is going on,” Van Gundy said. “He’s well aware of not only who we’ve signed but our reasoning behind all of them, that what we’re trying to do both in terms of on the court, adding shooting around, which gives he and Andre and Josh more room to operate, and also in terms of the kind of people we’re trying to add. I think that that’s important too. I hope all of our guys are recognizing the type of people that we’re trying to add and that we think it’s important to build a team with.”
After a relatively quiet off-season for Monroe it appears he might finally have a suitor outside of the Pistons. Steve Kyler from basketball insiders says the Phoenix Suns are interested and that they have the money to re-sign Eric Bledsoe and make an offer for Monroe.
“The Phoenix Suns have roughly $12.759 million available under the cap and could free up an additional $915,000 by renouncing the cap hold on Leandro Barbosa. The Suns do have a $6.56 million qualifying offer out to Eric Bledsoe. There have been reports that the Suns might issue an offer to Pistons free agent Greg Monroe, and could do a deal starting at $13.6 million and still be able to retain Bledsoe using his Bird rights. The Suns and Bledsoe remain somewhat apart on a deal,with reports suggesting that a four-year, $48 million offer was made by the Suns and turned away by Bledsoe.”
The nucleus of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond didn’t work for the Pistons last season, but maybe it will under Stan Van Gundy.
Right now all signs point towards Josh Smith returning for a second season in Detroit, while Monroe’s situation is just as murky as it was last week. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as it may have major ramifications for future free agent bigmen like Monroe, such as LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers (trailblazertickets.com) as if a team gobbles up Monroe, they’d most likely be out of the running for Aldridge next year.