To say that Greg Monroe denies recent media reports that he wants a trade from the Pistons might be selling it short. He used some strong language when asked about the situation before Monday's game against the Clippers.
The reporter who broke that story, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, was on Detroit Sports 105.1 with Matt Dery and, for his part, he largely agrees with Monroe.
"Frankly, Matt, I wouldn't be surprised if Greg Monroe is not involved with the nitty gritty of how his people are looking at the situation," Deveney said.
Deveney never cited his sources but it's clear in the writing and clear in his interview with Dery that they are probably a lot closer to Monroe's camp than to the Pistons front office.
And whether it was from speaking directly with Monroe's agent, David Falk, or people close to him, Deveney was able to outline the thought process of Monroe wanting out now when it has seemed since the day he took the qualifying offer this past summer.
As we explained in our Greg Monroe trade post, the thinking was that Monroe would nix any trade so he could keep his Bird rights and be available to all 30 teams in a sign-and-trade. Being a young, skilled big man just entering his prime, the thinking was that there would be plenty of money on the table and he could pick the best situation for him.
Now, though, according to Deveney, the calculus has changed.
"From the standpoint of Monroe's agent ... this team is about on pace to win 20 games this year and he's a sixth man, and that's not going to look good going into free agency next year. ... It's just a matter of when he gets to that free agency what's his value gonna be and what's he gonna be worth?"
So it seems the new thinking is this from Monroe's agent's perspective: If he stays in Detroit and everything stays on the current trajectory there is no way he's going to get that max or near-max deal we're looking for. If we get Monroe traded out of the bad situation in Detroit he'll be a rental, lose his Bird rights and only about 15 or so teams will be able to bid on him, but he'll perform at a higher level, be a starter, be a bigger feature of the offense and at least one team will throw that big max-money offer at Monroe.
Because all it takes is one.