Greg Monroe was close to becoming a Portland Trail Blazer, potentially joining LeMarcus Aldridge in what would have been perhaps the most potent offensive big-man tandems in the NBA.
Sources said the Pistons also seriously discussed various sign-and-trade scenarios this month that would have landed restricted free agent Greg Monroe in Portland, but the Blazers ultimately pulled themselves out of the race for Monroe by signing free-agent big man Chris Kaman to join Robin Lopez in the Blazers' center rotation.
I don't have a crystal ball, but I imagine the talks centered around the Pistons wanting the Blazers to send back talented small forward Nicolas Batum in the deal and the Blazers ... not wanting to do that.
Back when the Blazers-Monroe talk was first percolating this was the DBB assessment of the situation:
Another team reportedly interested is the Portland Trailblazers, who would have to execute a sign-and-trade. The Blazers certainly have pieces to offer including defensive wizard Nicolas Batum, 3-point sniper Wesley Matthews and young guard CJ McCollum. The Blazers also have serviceable big men they could send in return in Thomas Robinsonand Meyers Leonard.
Portland does, however, also have Robin Lopez who is strictly a center and if Pistons fans thought Monroe and Andre Drummond didn't fit together then they'll think even less of the Lopez-Drummond pairing. That means either Monroe comes off the bench behind Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge or Lopez is rerouted to another team. Or the interest is manufactured.
Obviously, the interest was not manufactured but the number of moving parts much have made any possible trade difficult and probably necessitated the two teams trading various trade proposals in their "serious" discussions. I wouldn't be surprised if the two teams were close and needed a third team to take on Robin Lopez and/or trade assets into the pot.