The stalemate continues between Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons, and there are few signs that a contract between the team and restricted free agent will be resolved anytime soon.
Many people are ascribing motives to the parties involved -- Monroe doesn't want to be here; the Pistons don't think he is worth much -- and while I can't get into anybody's head, let me submit to readers an alternative scenario: perhaps Monroe's agent David Falk is straight up nuts.
That was my gut-level reaction after reading Falk assess the signing of Evan Turner, another Falk client, by the Boston Celtics. Turner took a significant paycut after his former team, the Indiana Pacers, didn't extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer.
"Had Evan stayed in Philly with those kind of numbers, more than likely he would have made in excess of $10 million a year," he said. "So we obviously didn't want to lock him into a long-term kind of a deal, and I think, likewise, the Celtics want to see. They know Evan was the national Player of the Year (in 2009-10). They know that over the last two years he's averaged 14, 6 and 4 (13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists), which are pretty good numbers. So I think this is an opportunity for him to re-establish his value in a new environment.
"I think if you'd asked most GMs in February when Evan was averaging 17, 6 and almost 4, I think they all would have expected that he'd be a treasured free agent," Falk added. "Unfortunately in the NBA, we tend to be very trendy. When you're up, you're really up. When you're down, you're really down. Sometimes people don't modulate in the middle."
Which, wow. OK.
Either Falk is crazy or stupid or he thinks GMs are crazy and stupid. Because as best as I can recall there was never an ounce of thought out there that Turner would receive a qualifying offer much less sign a deal that pays him $10 million.
Turner has disappointed since coming into the league as the No. 2 overall in 2010. Incidentally, that is the same class that saw Monroe drafted No. 7. Turner isn't really a point guard, has very little range and can't defend particularly well.
Yes, he notched 17.4 points per game in the run-and-gun Philly system, but it took him 15.4 field goal attempts to get those points. He's a decent passer, but only as a wing and not a point guard and he doesn't have the scoring ability to play big minutes as an NBA wing.
The only players to shoot more than 10 times per game and have a True Shooting Percentage lower than Turner's .485 mark are the rapidly declining Brandon Roy (2011-13 spanning just 52 games), Tayshaun Prince (2011-14), and a pair of rookie gunners last year in Turner teammate Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke.
So, no. Turner isn't worth $10 million and everybody knows it. Except for maybe Falk. And if Falk is foolhardy enough to believe Turner is worth $10 million then what is Monroe worth? Well, the max, of course.
Instead, the Pistons are reportedly rightly valuing his play somewhere in the $12 million per year vicinity. Hence the stalemate.
The Pistons maintain the leverage in this situation, but there's no negotiating with crazy. And if Falk is just being a good agent and putting his client in the best possible light, fine -- he's wrong, but I can deal with it. But if he thinks a player that has turner in the career to date of Evan Turner is worth $10 million then there won't be much negotiating to be done on behalf of Greg Monroe.
I just can't wait for this whole thing to be over with.