Greg Monroe is through being the nice guy. He's tired of playing the good soldier in the big-3 lineup in Detroit featuring himself, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith.
Reading between the lines, a sign-and-trade involving Thomas and Josh Smith may be in the works, and multiple sources say Monroe's camp has made it known Monroe will sign the one-year qualifying offer if Smith remains on the roster. Monroe's camp denies that, and that kind of empty threat is not atypical from top restricted free agents. It's really their only form of leverage.
UPDATE: The story is picking up steam and Greg Monroe is steadfast in his denials. Just wanted to be fair and make it clear that he is completely denying the news coming out of the Zach Lowe report, which, to be fair to Lowe, was based on conversations with multiple sources.
These false reports are even more funnier when you're in the situation and u kno the truth.. I jus laugh— Greg Monroe (@M10OSE) July 2, 2014
Original story follows ...
Good for Monroe. Unfortunately, as Lowe indicates, the threat of taking the qualifying offer is most likely an empty one. It's hard to settle for $5 million when a $55 million contract is staring at you right in the face, after all.
But if he were to be so bold, then he would be an unrestricted free agent next year and the Pistons would have trouble re-signing him and would have much less leverage in possible sign-and-trade scenarios. So Monroe is basically saying, "It's nice that you want me back right now, but I don't want to live for three more years in this nightmare scenario. Fix it or else."
Good for him. I love that he put his cards on the table (official denials notwithstanding) and let it be known he was unhappy with how things operated last year. He joins about 90 percent of the Detroit Bad Boys community who felt the same way.
Because last year truly was the worst-case-scenario envisioned when the Pistons signed Smith to his lucrative $54 million, four-year deal. Losses piled up and Smith's horrid perimeter defense and shot-happy play impeded the growth of just about every player on the roster, but especially Moose.
Monroe often took a backseat in the offense, settling for less touches, less shots and less of a role in Detroit's offense. He also often sat during fourth quarters whether the team was ahead, behind, or tied. He was, quite frankly, the odd man out. This is despite being the team's most consistent source of offense and while being forced to watch as new teammate, ahd his defacto replacement, Smith jack up an endless amount of 3-pointers.
The thing is, I'm sure Stan Van Gundy agrees with Monroe wholeheartedly. He's already all but said that Josh Smith would be coming off of the bench next season. And the team has apparently been deep in discussion with the Sacramento Kings about a Smith trade.
And I'm pretty sure that whatever Monroe's feelings, it's not exactly a secret among the brass of other clubs, so I wouldn't worry too much about this having any impact on Detroit having to settle for even less in a future Smith trade.