Detroit Pistons fans have been arguing for two years now how much Greg Monroe would be worth once he hit restricted free agency*. With the drafting of Andre Drummond and the signing of Josh Smith the subject has become polarizing and enflamed the passion of many fans.
But now we are less than an hour from free agency and soon Monroe and the rest of us will know his value. Will it be $10 million per year? Fat chance. $12 million per year? Don't get your hopes up. A maximum contract? Looking more likely by the moment.
Would the Pistons match such an offer? That is less clear. But what is more clear is that there is a big market interested in the services of the young, highly skilled big man.
Marc Stein reports on Twitter that the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic have interest in pursuing Monroe. The Magic make sense as a team that wants a steady option in the post to put around their crop of young, electrifying perimeter players. Also, Scott Perry, the Magic's assistant general manager, held a similar post in Detroit early in Monroe's career and is familiar with him.
Atlanta, meanwhile, could use Monroe as the focal point in the paint and surround him with Al Horford in the high post and everyone else bombing away from 3.
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 Robinson and 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.
This is silly season after all. We'll bring you more as it develops.
If you want to talk about the general free agency craziness, Detroit Bad Boys has you covered. We have a thread for that.
*Monroe officially became a restricted free agent when the Pistons extended a one-year, $5.5 million qualifying offer over the weekend.