Greg Monroe was reportedly offered a deal by the Detroit Pistons that would've made him the highest paid player in franchise history. Monroe tweeted that those reports were false, insinuating that maybe if he was really offered the lucrative guaranteed deal, there would be something for him to consider and potentially accept. That's one theory anyway.
However, after it was reported that Monroe signed the Pistons' $5.479 million qualifying offer on Friday, USA Today wrote that it probably would not have mattered if the Pistons offered him the max, that it was Moose's plans all along to become an unrestricted free agent.
Monroe's representatives steered other teams from presenting Monroe with an offer sheet because they didn't want the Pistons to match and keep Monroe for another four seasons. Now, Monroe will have freedom to pick his next team, and that's what he wanted: control of his future. [...]
Monroe's agent, David Falk, has a long history of getting his clients the money they want and believes significant money will be there for Monroe in free agency next summer. Falk has also excelled at reading the market and believes another jump in the salary cap in 2015-16 will allow Monroe to cash in. [...]
But Falk also believes this just isn't about the money. It's about giving Monroe the opportunity to choose his next team, whether it's due to a coach he'd like to play for, players he'd like to play with or a city he'd like to play in. Falk has also been impressed with Monroe's thoughtful, reasoned approach to free agency. [...]
It had been Monroe's plan from the start of free agency this summer to sign the qualifying offer, and he stuck to it despite the inherent risks, which he believes are minimal.
I've already wrote why I think Monroe taking the QO makes more sense than what many believe. Perhaps this was not only his plan since the beginning of the summer, but -- here's a crazy idea -- maybe it was a plan that Joe Dumars knew about before he signed Josh Smith. Who really knows?
Either way, I'm still not convinced that he desperately wants out of Detroit. Who could reasonably blame him if that's the case? The environment has been toxic and he's about to play for his fifth coach in five years. That said, the Pistons finally have a plan in place for the future and still stand to be able to offer Monroe the most money next summer when the salary cap will likely increase again, giving him an opportunity to make up some of the money he chose to lose out on this year.
I wrote in the comments last week that it's actually refreshing to see a player seemingly care more about the ability to choose his destination than he does about a guaranteed excess of millions of dollars. Restricted free agency is kind of stupid in that it can trap players in bad situations. It is my hope that Stan Van Gundy, Andre Drummond and co. can show Moose this season that Detroit is where he should want his future to be, because with him, Detroit is where he will have the best opportunity to cash in on winning.