We are 5 days away from the NBA draft, and 10 days away from the official start of the NBA silly season. And nationally and locally, the big question when it comes to the Detroit Pistons centers around one player:
Do the Pistons re-sign him? Do they use him in a sign-and-trade? How much is he worth? Does he have special powers that can eliminate the existence of Josh Smith?
And I'm here to advocate an advantage no other team can offer Monroe. A 5 year contract.
The Pistons have "Bird" rights to Monroe, which means that they can go over the cap to sign him to a contract regardless of the amount. And with Bird rights, comes the ability to offer Monroe two things no one else can: 7.5% raises (compared to 4.5%) and the aforementioned 5 year contract (compared to 4). And since Monroe is a restricted free agent, the Pistons can match any offer another team gives him.
The Pistons could offer Monroe a 5 year contract with no raises starting at the maximum salary. So, if the maximum salary is $14 million, they could offer Monroe a 5 year contract for $70 million total, with a player option at the end. That's over $10 million more than any other team could give him. And, whether you agree with it or not, Monroe will probably get a maximum offer from someone. That's the market value for young big men in this league. While $70 million sounds like a lot of money, with a flat salary and an increasing salary cap, it's a good deal for the Pistons.
And, just to clear up one more question when discussing a 5 year contract for Monroe. This DOES NOT hamper the ability for the Pistons to sign Andre Drummond to a 5 year extension. You can only have one player signed to a 5 year extension, which is a contract for 6 total seasons. That player is your Designated Player, and the Pistons would not be allowed to sign another player to a 5 year extension (but they could trade for one).
Here's some links to hopefully help understand the distinction:
So, in summary:
1. Sign Monroe to a 5 year, maximum salary contract with no raises.
2. Extend Drummond after next season. Give him the maximum raises, the Derrick Rose rule, a trade kicker, Miss Michigan, and Tom Gores button down shirts.
3. And finally, TRADE JOSH SMITH!!!