Joe Dumars is currently our GM and he has one year left on his contract. Maurice Cheeks is currently our head coach and he has
2 4 years left on his contract. Greg Monroe is currently our starting PF and he has 2 years left on his contract though he'll be a restricted free agent after this season. So ask yourself: How important is Greg Monroe in your plans of what the future Pistons should consist of? If you don't care whether he stays or goes, ok. But if you think he's vital, should you be afraid?
Andre Iguodala is likely to opt out, if he hasn't already, of his contract. This will allow him to test the free agent market. He could go one of two ways: sign a deal worth more money (with Denver or elsewhere) or try to sign a cheaper deal with a contender (I heard somewhere that he doesn't want to be the #1 guy). The Denver Nuggets have given Iguodala a couple of things to also consider. They just lost/removed their GM (this year's Executive of the Year) and coach (this year's Coach of the Year). The team won 57 games and made it to the playoffs, which is highly encouraging. However, what direction are they likely to go in? That's not something you can fully be sure of without a GM and coach nor a new GM and coach.
Greg Monroe could very well be in a similar situation in two years. I'm not sure if Monroe has the option to opt out of his contract, so for that reason I'm going on the assumption that this situation won't be an issue until after the 2014-15 season.
Many people across the media believe that the Pistons have a very promising front court with the Monroe and Drummond tandem. The first one who will be available to test the free agent markets is Monroe after this coming season. Now let's say that there are teams that decide to offer Monroe a max (or very close to max) deal. In my personal opinion, I think the Pistons should match and call it a day. If it was Joe Dumars, you could almost guarantee that is exactly what will happen. But will he have that opportunity?
Dumars' contract is up after this season and if things stay as they have the last four years, you can almost be certain Tom Gores will find someone to replace him. For all we know, that may be exactly what Phil Jackson was brought in here for. He was to assess the situation, quietly agree to Dumars' coaching hire (so it fails and makes Joe look even more incompetent), and then when things don't go so well, Joe leaves, Phil comes in and Brian Shaw becomes our new head coach (since he's still without a job). Now in that situation, Monroe may be likely to stay. But what if that doesn't happen? What if we have a very similar year that we did last year, Joe leaves, and some new blood comes in? Will the new GM keep Cheeks as the coach? Will Monroe feel comfortable with a new coach and new GM after having four consecutive losing seasons? To my knowledge, Monroe doesn't have to test the restricted free agent market, meaning the Pistons wouldn't have to match, meaning he'd only have one year left on his contract.
I would love to see Monroe and Drummond play alongside each other until they retire as Pistons. I believe Monroe could work on his shot and become a little bit of a stretch 4 (and his passing is just as vital). I believe Drummond will develop his low post game and may even be able to move his shot out some (10-15 feet) so they both can work inside. Because of this, I fear that if this draft and free agent season does not produce what is needed (starting true point guard, capable 3 point shooters, and a go to wing) the Pistons could very likely lose Monroe in a few years.
Many people want Dumars gone for some good reasons. Many people didn't want Cheeks to be hired. Many people would like to see a new GM and a better coach come in and replace them. But would you be willing to do that if it meant possibly losing Monroe?
As always, would love your opinions. Also, I'm not advocating keeping Dumars or Cheeks (who hasn't had a chance to prove himself yet), just wanted to state how key I think this off season is.