The Detroit Pistons took a gamble by not re-signing Greg Monroe to a long-term deal before he became a restricted free agent. That gamble appears to be paying off.
The Pistons made it clear that they don’t want to sign Monroe to a max-contract. Detroit let him test the market to see if he could find a team willing to pay him close to the max, but so far he has come up empty.
The stare down between the two sides will continue until Monroe gets a good offer from another team or he decides his best bet is to stay with the Pistons. Stan Van Gundy has stated that there is nothing they can really do at this point other than wait. I think Detroit would love to keep Monroe and eventually find a way to move Josh Smith; this would let Detroit build their future around Monroe and Andre Drummond.
I think even Detroit is a little surprised at how long Monroe has been sitting on the free market. You wouldn’t expect there to be a lack of offers for a 24-year-old skilled big man.
The current free agent market has something to do with the lack of interest in Monroe. A lot of his possible suitors have already spent money on other players and can’t offer Monroe any more than the Pistons can.
Another problem that Monroe might be having is teams’ growing desire to space the court. Teams don’t want two big guys down low clogging up the lane. Instead, they want a stretch-four who can knock down outside jump shots. Monroe has a lot of different talents, but outside shooting is not one of them.
These problems for Monroe are in turn great for Detroit. The Pistons will gain some leverage if Monroe is forced to come back and negotiate with them. Detroit might be able to get him for around $10-12 million a season. If no deal is reached, then Monroe would play for $5.5 million next season and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.