Greg Monroe seems like the odd man out, with Josh Smith securing more minutes at power forward as the season goes on and the 23-year-old Georgetown product in the last year of his deal seeing dwindling crunch-time minutes.
But a new report today should put at least some Pistons fans minds' at ease -- according to Basketball Insiders' (formerly HoopsWorld) Steve Kyler, the Pistons have been adamant in their denials that the team is shopping Monroe, and that Kyler was told "aggressively" that Detroit is not interested in doing a deal with the Washington Wizards, who do covet Monroe.
This isn't exactly news, but sometimes it is good to remind ourselves that the biggest indication that Monroe is on the move is what is happening on the court and not necessarily in the president of basketball operations Joe Dumars' office.
Here is what Kyler said specifically in his latest NBA chat:
Only thing I am hearing is MASSIVE denials about moving Greg Monroe. So I read that as Greg Monroe better pack
The Pistons just hired Mo Cheeks, so I doubt he's fired mid-season and Joe Dumars isn't going anywhere mid-season either. The off-season may be a different story, but if you look at Portland... they went through the same thing last year and turned it around impressively this year.
I think the situations and talent are different, but you have to give things time to come together, especially with so many young guys and guys with conflicting agendas.
I know Washington is interested in Greg... however I have been told aggressively that Detroit is not open to it. So short answer is no.
Does that change at the trade deadline? Maybe.
This, of course, jibes with what we're hearing from the Pistons beat writers, who have given no indication that the Pistons are actively shopping the big man. Examples: Here. Here. Here. They just haven't been quite so ... vociferous as Kyler is being in his chat. Besides, with the losses piling up, now is a good time to remind ourselves that a Greg Monroe trade for pennies on the dollar is more fear than reality.
Obviously, there is also a sizable contingent of fans that would definitely like to see him moved, and the truth is this doesn't necessarily mean he is untouchable.
Remember, of the many things Dumars has historically shown, it is that he doesn't appear to be the kind of executive who will meddle with what his head coach is doing. He's never seemed to dictate playing time, starting lineup decisions or rotation members.
So while it appears that coach Maurice Cheeks is ascribing a lot of the blame for the Pistons terrible interior defense on Monroe (admittedly, too often an offender of poor defense), that doesn't mean it necessarily mean Dumars shares the same opinion.
Obviously, signing Josh Smith means something. And obviously every move is centered around Andre Drummond going forward. But that doesn't mean that future can't involve Greg Monroe. At least, not at this juncture.
Lets hope that fact remains true unless somebody comes forward with a offer too good to refuse .