Greg Monroe and Andre DrummondFor the last six years, this phrase has defined the Pistons. Every year, fans hope things will turn around. Every year, things end about as badly as they possibly could. Just enough wins to remain out of prime draft position; just enough losses to leave everyone with the empty feeling of a completely wasted season. They luck into two top five talents in Monroe and Drummond, who slid almost miraculously in semi-consecutive drafts, but Monroe wasn’t even the best player available (Paul George went three spots later), and the questions about how the two fit together have so far been answered with a deafening silence. Coaches have been reluctant to play them very much together, and the two have demonstrated precious little compatibility in that time.

Despite moderate upsets against the Nets and Nuggets (which weren’t enough to save Maurice Cheeks’ job) and interim coach John Loyer’s first win against a depleted Spurs team that, frankly, didn’t need or want the win very much (their only able-bodied stars, Duncan and Parker, played about 20 minutes apiece), this team has proven much more in the season’s first 51 games than they possibly could in the final 31. Given owner Tom Gores’ comments that he believes the team is much better than their record (the mantra of every bad team ever), it stands to reason that the firing of head coach Maurice Cheeks might be the team’s lone trade deadline move.

The Pistons have achieved a similar level of futility in seasons’ past with far lower expectations and far more flexibility to look forward to, and they still stubbornly pursued doomed runs at hopeless playoff berths. So it stands to reason that this season will be no different. They simply don’t have the assets to be buyers at the deadline (expiring contracts just aren’t the commodities they used to be), and Joe Dumars might not even be trusted to make any personnel moves before his contract is allowed to quietly expire. That means the most likely outcome at the trade deadline is that they stand pat and hope for the best. Whether or not they succeed in their misguided attempt at a shallow playoff appearance, this outcome would fall under “the worst.”

At this point, the best case scenario for the Pistons this season is a close approximation of the 2008-2009 season where they won 39 games and were swept out of the playoffs in humiliating fashion. (If you remember, back when this fan base had standards, this season was considered a complete disaster.) It’s unrealistic to expect them to achieve their goal of threatening to win a series, or even being a dangerous playoff team. For that, they would need to secure at least a 6th seed, which looks quite unrealistic at this point. By any standard set at the start of the season, this campaign is already a failure. There simply isn’t very much to gain by staying the course.

Brandon Jennings Pistons vs. Magic 12-27-2013

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

By bringing in Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith last summer, they certainly upgraded the talent base, but assembling a basketball team isn’t like talent soup, where the more pure talent you add the better off you are. As the Pistons have proven in both their best and worst times, chemistry is the most important ingredient. Basketball, more than any other major sport, favors the ability to field the best player and the best five man unit. This is why you can surround LeBron James with a D-League supporting cast and have a real shot at making the Finals. And why last year’s Portland Trailblazers, who had a strong starting lineup but no bench whatsoever, were significantly better than last year’s Pistons, whose second unit was almost in-arguably better than its starting lineup.

Building up the talent base was necessary, but just as necessary is that they make adjustments so that the pieces fit. Clearly the trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond is not working. Staggering their minutes so that only two of them are on the floor at a time is probably the best way to maximize their effectiveness, but that won’t maximize the team’s resources. And for a middle market team that has struggled as mightily as Detroit has over the past half decade, maximizing resources is absolutely essential. Debate all you want about whether or not a team can win without a superstar, but no team ever achieved any level of success in this league whose best three players couldn’t play together.

Andre Drummond NBA Detroit Pistons WallpaperGiven that Drummond is the unquestioned franchise player and Josh Smith is probably here to stay (after all, we were the high bidders for him and his value has been going nowhere but down) it just doesn’t make sense to make a long-term commitment to Greg Monroe, who hasn’t adapted well (or at all, really) to the power forward spot, a position he’s known was his future since the team drafted Drummond nearly two years ago. Any long-term commitment to Monroe at this time, even in the event that Josh Smith was somehow traded, would necessarily be based on the baseless hope that both he will suddenly, out of nowhere, with no real incentive (read: money) to do so, adapt his game to a position that obviously doesn’t suit him.

If the Pistons stand pat at the deadline, before the team can take any steps forward in July, it will first take two huge steps backwards: Greg Monroe will get a colossal pay raise, and Stuckey will be renounced– lost for nothing– in order to free up as much cap space as possible (roughly $10 million in this case). And then the only real avenue they have to fix the worst perimeter in the league will be that scant $10 million in cap space. Just for starters, this team needs a legitimate shooting guard and small forward– preferably ones who play on both ends of the court– and it’s hard to imagine $10 million luring even one starting caliber wing to Detroit. And somehow this represents this summer’s best case scenario.

If another team (say, the Washington Wizards, who have already expressed interest) extends Monroe a max offer sheet, the Pistons have three days to match it. So if that happens on the first day of free agency (and it’s likely they would want an answer sooner rather than later, so they can use that money to pursue other targets) the Pistons only have three days to convince free agents to take their $10 million before it shrivels up to a number much closer to $6 million. Perhaps there will be a new General Manager in town, and with him at least the hope of a cultural shift away from the dysfunction that has marked the last half decade, but it’s hard to imagine quality free agents jumping at the chance to sign right away with the team that’s done nothing but kill the careers of coaches and players alike over the last six years.

Rodney-Stuckey-Pistons-vs-Bulls

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

Nobody can be sure what will happen or what the environment will be like, but is that a chance worth taking? If the team ends up being forced to match an offer sheet for Monroe before it can bring in any free agents, in terms of maximizing their buying power, it would make more sense to re-sign Rodney Stuckey (instead of renouncing him and losing him for nothing) and just add perimeter help via the mid-level exception. With the mid-level exception being just over $5 million, and our projected cap space after matching a max offer sheet for Monroe (and renouncing Stuckey) being just over $6 million, we would effectively be bringing Stuckey back for just a $1 million cap hit. In terms of putting a basketball team together, no matter how you value Stuckey, I don’t think you could argue that bringing him back isn’t worth sacrificing $1 million in buying power.

This isn’t to say that Stuckey would necessarily re-sign with the Pistons, and as an unrestricted free agent he has the power to sign wherever he wants. This just illustrates the position the team could very well find itself in under very realistic– perhaps even probable– circumstances. One where bringing everyone back (well, almost everyone; sorry, Charlie) and improving only via the mid-level exception (the bare minimum tool any team over the cap has at its disposal) could actually be the best achievable outcome. This possibility should scare anyone, because it means very little is likely to change. There is simply too much outside of the organization’s control to assume that they’ll be able to bring back Monroe for anything less than a max level contract, or that they’ll even have as much as $10 million to spend on perimeter help before matching his offer sheet.

It’s also unlikely to expect that the Pistons will have sign-and-trade options with either player. If Monroe signs an offer sheet with a team that’s under the cap, they will have no obligation or incentive to send assets back, and given Stuckey’s consistent inconsistency in play and health, it’s unlikely to expect the team that takes a flyer on him to send anything of value our way.

If the off-season plays out predictably, the next order of business would be trying to shop Smith, but he still won’t be in a position to succeed. Remember when we tried getting Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon to coexist? Those contracts were pretty atrocious on their own, but having them together on the same roster made it impossible to showcase either one of them to establish any value. The end result was buying Rip’s contract out and, worse yet, mortgaging a first round pick to get rid of Gordon. That isn’t to say the situation will be quite as bad with Monroe and Smith, but you’d think this team would have learned its lesson about attaching incompatible players to rich, long-term overlapping contracts. The likelihood is just too great that the team languishes in mediocrity for the first two or three years of Monroe’s four-year extension while trying to get rid of Smith, all the while dealing with the unenviable balancing act of keeping Monroe happy while showcasing Smith.The likelihood is just too great that the team will continue to flounder, Monroe will get increasingly disgruntled, the first half of his contract will be entirely wasted, and he’ll never stick around for another extension. It’s difficult to see the upside of this plan when Monroe and Drummond have done nothing to demonstrate that the Pistons can build around them at all, let alone build a contender.

If the organization had half as much patience as they ask of their fans, they would be very active at the trade deadline. True, they don’t have the assets to be buyers, but they have a wealth of assets to be sellers. Let’s be honest: If the Pistons weren’t already attached to Greg Monroe, and he was an unrestricted free agent, they would be the last team lining up to give him a max contract. They simply don’t have the luxury of tying up all their money in incompatible post players. Being the absolute worst team in the league at scoring outside the paint, they should be much more concerned with bolstering their perimeter to balance the roster and create space for the post players they’ve already committed to.

Greg Monroe Pistons vs. Sixers

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

By trading Monroe before the deadline, the team offers its trade partner a serious boost with a minimal cap hit, since Monroe is still on his rookie contract. His Bird rights also come with him, so they would have the right to match any offer sheet another team might offer him (and chances are they’ll be a team in need of post help, so he wouldn’t be just a rental anyways). And the Pistons have plenty of contracts to mix-and-match and get the best possible return; if they wait until he’s signed an extension, they’ll have to take back a lot of money. Furthermore, any team that gives up serious assets for Monroe would be making a much stronger statement in terms of their commitment to him than his current team simply holding onto him. This could go a long way towards discouraging other teams from extending him an offer sheet. Holding onto him just isn’t as strong of an endorsement, and it only makes sense that someone will put the Pistons to the test. At worst, their money is tied up for three days; at best, they’ve forced an opponent to pay top dollar for their own free agent.

Perhaps equally important, in its own way, would be cashing in on Stuckey’s contract year and shipping him to a playoff team for future assets. It would be a shame to have waited so long for him to develop (and sacrificing so much in a failed attempt to build around him) only to lose him in free agency seven wasted years later, with nothing to show for our troubles. And for what? A desperate attempt at a hollow playoff berth that’s only even within reach because the East is unbelievably bad. “Making the playoffs” can’t possibly feel like an accomplishment when you’re nowhere near .500 and make the cut purely by default. And with so little room to grow, having no first round pick, no movable assets, and just a sliver of cap space. Regardless of what General Manager inherits this team, he (or she?) will have precious little flexibility to improve things. And if you’ve been following the Pistons this season, you know that is a very bad thing.

Standing pat at the trade deadline is welcoming disaster. It virtually guarantees that the team we’ve seen on the court so far is pretty much what we’ll be looking at for the next several years. In a best case scenario, Monroe and Smith suddenly blossom into completely different players out of nowhere and for no reason. In a worst case scenario, we miss the playoffs, lose our first round pick to Charlotte, and come back to do this all over again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.

The only way a team stays as bad as the Pistons are for as long as they’ve been is their stubborn insistence on winning as many games as humanly possible in the here and now, regardless of how low their ceiling was. And it looks like this year is shaping up to be no different. But if they have the vision (and patience) to make a few calculated subtractions in an already fruitless season, they could enter the summer with a bounty of picks and prospects (their return for Monroe and Stuckey), possibly including their own first round pick, and as much as $20 million in cap space (since they won’t have to worry about setting aside money for their own free agents). This translates to a tremendous amount of flexibility and, for the first time in a long time, hope.

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22 Responses to Hope For the Best, but Expect the Worst

  1. Farid says:

    damn. im all for being practical — BUT damn that was the most pessimistic article/post ive ever seen on Need4Sheed.com. That is all.

    • Someone has to think a little differently when it comes to this team right now. I’m always a slappy, but I am very nervous about the condition of the team and have lost a ton of faith in Joe Dumars. Plus I don’t think Gores gives a rats ass about this team. He’s all about the Benjamins.

  2. otisdm says:

    That’s a fair assessment. I generally consider N4S to be a very optimistic blog. But I’m not being pessimistic for the sake of pessimism. Should people who predicted failure for the Pistons after the Gordon and Villanueva 2009 be criticized for being negative or credited for being right? If you’re satisfied with the status quo, then I’m sure you’ll disagree with my assessment. If you want to see real change come to Motown, I don’t see that happening by letting this deadline pass us by.

  3. JB says:

    I think you are wrong by saying expiring contracts aren’t the commodities they used to be. I believe a lot of teams would love to get an expiring contract to get cap space the following offseason. For that reason I would look to trade Stuckey and Charlie in return for a poor contract. For my trouble, I would need draft picks. Sort of like how we got rid of Gordon (and a 1st) for Maggette (and his expiring deal). That would give us a poor cap situation for a few years where we would likely be a bad team. That would help us get young talent through the draft, which is far more preferable than overpaying for a second tier star (like Smith). After the few years of poor cap situation, we’d in theory have a nice nucleus of young (and cheap) talent, and would have money coming off the books to round out the roster. My goal would be to build the right way for 2018 as opposed to try to rush it for next year. I don’t think we have the pieces for next year. Thoughts Steve?

  4. Farid says:

    true. good points in article: no doubt. chemistry is a serious problem and finding a way to have the pieces flow correctly is a concern. coaching matters. i guess im a bit more optimistic about our pieces we currently have. i agree about Gores–some of his action are communicating that. dont know the guy lol but i think u r right. lol.. but u know, bottom-line mentality and being about those Benjamins can translate into a good product. a good product/team = money. bad product/team = losing money and no return on investment. its in his interest to develop a good product/team. Joe D… it will be interesting to see what happens. but Gores showed his card in the manner in which Mo Cheeks was fired. but yo, been a die hard fan since 7 years old and im 34 —and from the south side of Chicago lol.. so my emotions makes me a bit optimistic and cloud my vision at time ;) Peace

  5. Farid says:

    i totally agree! i do feel that we should act and make a trade/move before the deadline. if we dont act i wont be happy but i do feel that we have good pieces… its bout strategy…coaching and making sure the pieces are working right. the plays and sets have been the worst! and our D has not been consistent… and there is potential in both those areas with current pieces… if we had a coach like Pop, Phil Jackson..maybe Van Gundy — i am confident creative coaches like that would get the potential out of our current pieces… but yeah — i would like to see a move made be4 the deadline for sure!

  6. otisdm says:

    Well, for one thing, we’ll probably get to see how valuable expiring contracts are, because if somebody wants to give us something for Charlie V’s corpse, you know we’ll jump at the chance to get something– anything– for him. But I’ve researched the cap situations around the league, and there just aren’t many teams who need to shed salary. The only taxpaying teams right now are both LA teams, both New York teams and the Heat. The Pistons PR department has been touting the value of expiring contracts for a while now, but they just don’t have the value they once did under the new CBA.

    This team definitely should have been on the other end of that awful Ben Gordon trade, and even back then I was advocating this. It was a serious mistake to start dumping draft picks before the team was in good shape, and especially not in a trade where we didn’t acquire talent. We essentially traded Ben Gordon’s expiring contract and a first round pick for Josh Smith, who the team is already itching to dump. Made no sense ever. So yeah, this could be a good use for our expiring contracts (rather than letting them expire to free up a modicum of cap space).

    I think your 2018 plan is much more prudent than whatever win-now, get-rich-quick garbage ownership is probably planning. And I think that pretty much jibes with my proposed plan: Get rid of some guys who either don’t fit or are expiring and have more value to someone else than to us, get cheap young assets and lots of flexibility, and build patiently around Drummond with players who complement him rather than get in his way.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. otisdm says:

    The above comment was a replyfail to JB.

    And Faried, I do appreciate the feedback. Thanks for commenting. I love this team with all my heart; the faces that come and go will never be more important than the team. I hate to see people get too sentimental about guys like Joe Dumars and even Greg Monroe. The team has some big decisions ahead, but I honestly don’t think they’re as hard as people make them out to be. You just can’t plan for best case scenarios (especially when they don’t look all that promising); there’s just too much outside the team’s control. I just want them to consider all possibilities and make prudent, patient decisions. Even if in this case patience means taking action.

  8. Bob says:

    Great read. It was very depressing, but truth of the matter is, that’s how our future is looking. Especially if we match a max offer for Monroe. Then we are going to have this 3 headed front court full of problems for years to come. Drummond is my dude at C (obviously) and I liked the Monroe at PF idea last year, but Monroe just hasn’t shown he can keep up with 4′s defensively, or shoot the 15 ft shot consistently. Oh yeah… and then there’s also the fact that they spent $54 million on a PF named Josh Smith over the summer and asked him to play SF where he also struggles to defend quick 3′s and cannot knock down outside shots like a 3 should. Ideally, I would want to trade Smith, but since that seems impossible. It seems the only logical situation would be to move Monroe for either picks or a legit shooting 3, and shift Smith back to PF. But I also don’t want to panic and move Monroe without getting something substantial in return. Sad part of it all, was how pumped I was for this season, only to see it pan out as another flop. And the future does start to look scary now seeing these long deals with players under performing (whether its due to playing out of position or not, Dumars still signed them and that’s what we are stuck with). Very interesting to see how everything pans out this coming week with the trade deadline. I am a diehard Pistons fan, watch pretty much every game, and these last 5 years or so have been so terrible to watch that it’s hard not to feel depressed looking forward. Hopefully if Dumars is gone, we can get someone that has a plan of actually turning this thing around. And hopefully these contracts for Jennings and Smith don’t end up screwing us over as much as the CV31 and BG contracts did.

  9. Bellllissimo says:

    its all true. though looking forward. I watch John Loyer (is that his name?) speak and you know what? It’s ironic how the interim coach is the only coach in awhile I’ve seen speak like a head coach should. You look at all the coaches before, they never spoke with any kind of conviction or they said the right things for the media but they didn’t speak the way i wanted them to. I actually think we might (possibly) go on a win streak maybe get to the 6 or 5th seed with this new coach.

    btw natalie do you happen to have a picture of sheed on the bench during the game or a gif. I wanna see him in his tie and suit being all assistanty

  10. edt says:

    too long to read everything but I love greg monroe let’s trade Josh smith for a bag of peanuts and keep Greg. Greg and Andre make a perfect frontcourt, each other covering the other’s deficiency’s. All Josh has is athleticism which declines by the hour and a horrible jump shot.

    Mooooose!

  11. edt says:

    I with with you on that Nat. I heard some other people tell me that the reason Joe Dumar’s drafted Josh Smith is because Gores made him do it. I am like “Whu? Gores didn’t even know who Josh Smith was before he came to detroit.” It’s a scary time, Joe is on a leash and Gores don’t know any basketball.

    I remember how happy I was that karen was gone and we could make moves. But at least karen knew a little basketball just from osmosis. Even if she didn’t like the game much she at least knew the difference between a long 2 and 3 point shot. I’m not sure Gores knows that much.

  12. CB1MVP says:

    if Kings are willing to give up Gay, I would trade monroe to kings for him.

  13. edt says:

    gay is a chucker just like josh smith & jennings, u play jennings josh & gay you would need 3 basketballs between them, good news is that drummond’s rebound numbers would go even higher

  14. otisdm says:

    edt I hope you give it a read some time, maybe while waiting in a doctor’s office or something. I know it’s long, but I think there are some compelling points in there. It’s hard to ignore how bad this team was even without Josh Smith, and how bad a complement Monroe is to Drummond, being slow footed and unable to shoot.

    This isn’t about disliking Monroe. It’s about recognizing a bad fit and capitalizing on the two major trade assets this team has before all their flexibility is gone.

  15. cb1mvp says:

    when you have a great coach that can run sets of offense, no one would choke. People always complain about smith and jennings choking, but in their career have their ever had a coach that actually run enough offense around them so that they dont have to choke up shots? we all knew the story about jennings. smith – u had woodson who is encouraging his knicks to do the same thing.

  16. Otis says:

    edt, at this point do you think any good coach would choose to come here and destroy his career? Lionel Hollins is reportedly interested in the job (and though he comes with the red flag of being pretty gruff and controlling, he’s probably the most qualified candidate who might be convinced to take it) but the plan seems to be letting interim coach Loyer run the show for the rest of the season and having our next GM hire the new coach, so by that time will Hollins even be interested anymore? It’s hard to say. But this team has burned through more coaches than anyone in the last decade, and none of them has been the answer. Likewise, no coach will ever be the answer as long as this roster is as weak and unbalanced as it remains. Worst team in the league at scoring outside the paint. ‘Nuff said.

    You seem like a nice guy, but I think you’re afraid to accept how deep this roster’s problems run.

  17. Otis says:

    Sorry, cb1mvp that last comment was for you. I’m king of the replyfails. :)

  18. skullcrusher says:

    I like the idea of trading Monroe (and obviously would prefer to also dump Josh) but I think it will be tough to get anything in return that will be close to equal or immediate value. I haven’t gotten to see the Pistons play very much in recent years, but I think I understand the market. This isn’t the year to trade picks if you’re a lottery team. It’s not the 2003 draft class, but it’s very strong at the top and as deep through the end of the lottery as any in recent years. I’m normally not an advocate of tanking, but if there were any year where I would consider it, this would be the year. If you’re a bad team with the cap room to eventually sign Monroe next summer, you may as well stay bad this year and improve your lottery position, and then sign Monroe in the summer after you’ve gotten a higher draft pick.

    In my mind, the only realistic trade partners are teams that are looking to compete in the playoffs, but these teams usually aren’t going to give you equal value because the valuable players are the reason they’re competitive in the first place, and their draft picks are almost certainly going to be in the latter half of the draft. You would have to try a team in a similar position in the standings, in “win now” mode. A lot of these teams are in sh*ttier situations than ours (the knicks, nets) with older pieces that still wouldn’t fit any better than Monroe. I think the most realistic option might be the Suns. They’re overachieving (in the West, no less) even though they were probably looking to tank, and there are rumors they’re looking to field a competitive playoff team by adding Pau Gasol. I would basically take what ever they’re offering for him (with the necessary cap adjustments), and hope they would prefer Monroe over a past-his-prime Gasol. They have a couple of draft picks this year, hopefully we could get one or two of those.

    I’m curious to hear if you have any other suggested trade partners. The idea of trading Monroe is appealing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re just not getting any decent offers right now.

  19. otisdm says:

    Hi skullcrusher. Take my word for it, this team isn’t fun to watch. At least in seasons past they were enjoyable once in a while because they had streaky shooters who were “on” every fifth game. This season they almost literally can’t score from outside the paint. It’s fascinating, but not fun to watch. Sorry for the delay, but here’s a detailed response:

    When you talk about equal “immediate” value for Monroe, I agree it will be near impossible to get. But for one thing, I don’t even want immediate value. I’d love to trade him for picks and prospects who can’t help now but could be future building blocks (to make up for the #1 pick we still owe Charlotte) or could be packaged together to bring in help next season and beyond. Ideally, we’d be bad enough this season to keep our pick and come back next season strong enough to not really miss the pick we send the Bobcats. Keep in mind, we really don’t look like probables to make the playoffs right now. Charlotte is probably a better team and is in much better position to improve by season’s end. And I still believe Cleveland and New York have as good a chance as we do to capture the last playoff spot. Really thinking (for the sixth consecutive year) that it’s just not our season.

    It would really help us to get significantly worse right away and take back nothing but picks and prospects. And conveniently our second best trade chip also happens to be the kind of guy who doesn’t figure to return any equal immediate value in Stuckey. He’s the poster child for a lopsided trade where we’re just trying to get something for him before he disappears. By trading these guys without any expectation of immediate gains, we offer trade partners a prime opportunity to improve only at the expense of future assets.

    Furthermore, I’m kind of sick of this chatter about getting full value for Monroe (not with you personally, but I have a friend who keeps talking about Monroe’s value going down, and Keith Langlois always answers my questions by saying they’re not going to trade Monroe for 65 cents on the dollar). I would have traded Monroe this summer. I would have traded him at literally any point this season. I would have traded him at the deadline last year, because even by that point I was convinced he was a center who had no future with Drummond. So what’s worse: Trading away a guy who doesn’t fit and is keeping this team stuck in the mud, but not getting a huge return for him, or paying market value for a guy who is going to get you absolutely nowhere and whose value isn’t going anywhere but down in this system? Call me crazy, but I’d rather sell Monroe for 65 cents on the dollar (and I still believe we’d do better than that) than buy him at $1.50 on the dollar and have an awful basketball team. He’s just not worth market value to us, and I can’t see the benefit of overpaying him and hoping somehow a better trade comes along before the fans who remember winning basketball are all disinterested or dead.

    So you waited too long to trade Monroe. BFD. It’s nothing new to this team. We’ve heard this same bogus song and dance for years with Stuckey. He plays bad, and they can’t trade him because he’s playing bad. He starts playing well, and suddenly they don’t want to trade him because he’s too valuable to us. And where has that pattern gotten us? Right to the brink of Stuckey’s unrestricted free agency and it looks like we’re just going to lose him for nothing. This team’s timing STINKS, but I don’t see how attaching $60 million to Monroe puts us in a better position than cashing in now and going into the summer with a pile of cheap assets and a dumptruck full of cap space.

    Also, I’m not sure only bad teams would want Monroe. He’s one of those guys I could see going to almost any team in the league. He might be basically a finished product (he hasn’t developed much since his second season) but he’s ready to contribute and he’s young. A team like the Spurs could send us Kawhi Leonard and their #1 pick (a late first rounder, but a first rounder nonetheless, and the Spurs of all teams don’t mind losing a few games to keep the vets fresh); Washington (a middle of the road team) could send us Otto Porter and their #1 pick. The Magic (second worst team in the league) could send us Afflalo and Harris. And like you said, the Suns would be pretty ideal There are possibilities all across the spectrum. But another team banking on extending him an offer sheet has to know that whoever has his Bird rights is probably going to match any offer sheet, and whoever has his Bird rights has to know that someone is going to take a chance on a max offer sheet. At worst, their money is tied up for three days. It’s not like the old CBA where their money was frozen for a full week.

    Where the insanity creeps in is when people start talking about extending Monroe for like $40-48 million or some ridiculous number. And I just read an article with five trade proposals that should get the author institutionalized somewhere. Just five ludicrous proposals to send our spare parts like Villanueva, Bynum and Jerebko to winning teams for their quality players. I think it’s this dreamer’s mentality that keeps people from facing the reality that if you want to change the dynamic of your team, you have to be willing to part with players you like. And again, my thrust at this point is simply to NOT be the ones holding the bag when Monroe hits free agency. David Falk, his agent, is known for getting his clients exactly what he wants, and he wants the max. I’d rather be dead than make that foolish a commitment when I could get Arron Afflalo for Monroe and call it a day.

  20. DJ says:

    We definitely need a trade. We are heavy at pg. we need a defense minded 2 or 3 that can spread the floor. We need to just move Monroe for a sf or stretch 4 that can space things out for us. We have no post presence and none of our guards can shoot. So the paint is clogged leaving us wide open for face breaks by the other team. The guys who should be trying to get in the paint like Jennings amd smith prefer to take ill advised 3s when our bigs aren’t in positin to rebound. So the defense cheats off of them and just makes it difficult for us to run any fluent half court offense. Cheeks was the wrong choice and we all need admit Smith ain’t a sf. So trade Monroe now go get us a sf. Cleveland wants to get rid of deng, sac wants to get rid of gay, the warriors are wasting Barnes talent. Way too many small forwards out there on teams in need of a big man who can give the, 15 points and 9 rebounds a game. There are too many shooters out there for us not to be ale to find 1 for nothing. A Kyle Korbut type. We need shooters amd athletic wing guys. We can’t get a superstar. Drummond is our only hope for one now, but he’s 2 years away from that.

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