The bluffs were anything but and the threats were real. After months of divisive long-term contract negotiations, Greg Monroe has taken the unprecedented step of signing a one-year, $5.5 million qualifying offer with the Detroit Pistons.
We’ve chronicled Monroe’s contractual drama with the Pistons all summer long. After the restricted free agent never received the max-level offer he sought from Detroit or another team, odds pointed to Monroe simply taking a multiyear deal he and the Pistons each deemed fair. But the sides could never come to an agreement, and discussions appeared contentious when Monroe refuted reports that the Pistons offered him a five-year, $60 million contract.
We assumed from the beginning that Monroe’s insistence that he would be open to signing a qualifying offer in lieu of a deal he considered disrespectful was a sham. Our thoughts didn’t even change in early August after multiple reports said that was the most likely outcome, and we were still somewhat dubious after news came on August 12 that Monroe informed the Pistons he was taking the route of a QO.
Obviously, we were wrong.
But the risk Monroe is taking supports our skepticism. No player of his caliber has ever elected to play on a one-year deal far below his financial worth – Monroe surely could’ve signed a long-term contract worth twice as much annually as he’ll be paid this season. If the worst happens and Monroe suffers a serious injury, he’ll likely lose out on tens of millions of dollars as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Of course, Monroe also has much to gain. Should he enjoy a career season under the tutelage of Stan Van Gundy, it’s a basic certainty that he’ll cash-in more next July than he would’ve this past one. The ability to actually choose his destination was surely influential to Monroe’s decision, too. If he is hellbent on getting out of Detroit as soon possible, this is the right move – risk be damned.
Either way, Monroe’s choice should make for a fascinating season in Detroit.
What do you think?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.