The circumstances surrounding Greg Monroe’s signed qualifying offer are finally clear. According to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, Monroe never intended to sign a long-term contract with the Detroit Pistons – even if the team offered him the max-level deal he so sought.
Citing league sources, Zillgitt even says that Monroe’s agent, David Falk, discouraged other teams from extending Monroe an offer sheet because he didn’t want the Pistons to match it.
…even if the Pistons had offered Monroe a max contract, there was a strong chance Monroe would’ve declined…
Monroe’s representatives steered other teams from presenting Monroe with an offer sheet because they didn’t want the Pistons to match and keep Monroe for another four seasons. Now, Monroe will have freedom to pick his next team, and that’s what he wanted: control of his future.
When Monroe made good on his long-standing threat of signing a qualifying offer on Friday, we speculated that his decision was due at least in part to his reluctance to play for the Pistons. Such educated conjecture was hardly bold, but Zillgitt’s information is still important.
Once Monroe signed his QO, it became highly unlikely that he’d remain with Detroit past the 2014-2015 season. No matter how well he and the Pistons play under the guidance of Stan Van Gundy, Zillgitt’s intel indicates, Monroe will sign with another team as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
This only adds to what was already going to be a fascinating situation in Detroit. With confirmation that Monroe isn’t long for the Motor City, how will Van Gundy react? The Pistons need to start building a winning culture sooner rather than later, and Monroe’s play will surely be a positive for the team this season despite his unenviable circumstances. But knowing that developing franchise cornerstone Andre Drummond will have a different frontcourt mate in the future, it might be most prudent for Van Gundy to limit Monroe’s influence.
The ideal scenario for both sides, then, would be if Detroit can find a trade partner for Monroe before February’s deadline. Van Gundy and the Pistons will surely explore every option, but Monroe has veto power on all trades.
Bottom line: Monroe is a Detroit Piston, but he won’t be in the near future. The question now becomes how soon that future will materialize.
What do you think?
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