Since signing his qualifying offer during the offseason, Greg Monroe's name has been churning through the rumor mill, with most reports speculating where he could land if one year under Stan Van Gundy isn't enough for the former Georgetown big man to buy into a Motown makeover. Amidst the speculation and various reports, one team consistently popped up as a potentially serious suitor: the New York Knicks.
Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher have struggled in New York, and have been looking at the offseason to rectify the many problems plaguing the prestigious ball club, and on their list of prized 2015 free-agents, Monroe is apparently at the top of their list, joining the likes of the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green and the Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler. The post-move maestro Monroe is the only unrestricted free agent of the bunch, and will probably receive more interest as a result.
Van Gundy and Pistons' owner Tom Gores have many a time reiterated their interest in re-signing the Louisiana native, and while they haven't ruled out offering Monroe the max, the past offseason should indicate they are hoping to get him at a discount. The Pistons low balling Monroe is good news for the Knicks who are contemplating offering Monroe a sizeable offer once free agency starts on July 1. Monroe has so far made no outward commitment to the Pistons past this season, but he also hasn't suggested he's ready to leave, as part of the reason he picked up his QO was to re-assess his options and wade in the free agent pool. He will have a lot to consider this offseason.
Though Friday's game will do him no favors, Reggie Jackson is also on the Knicks radar. New York beat writers believe he could be potentially interested in re-joining former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Derek Fisher, who Jackson credits with having helped him grow as a player. The Knicks have previously expressed their interest in the 24-year-old point guard, and even tried to trade for him this past deadline. It seems they are ready to make a strong move to try and pry him away from Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons over the offseason.
In an interview with The New York Post's Marc Berman, Derek Fisher raved about Jackson, and was interested to see how the 6-foot-3 Piston floor-general performed with his new team. Jackson is a restricted free agent this offseason, and Detroit can match any potential offer put forward by the Knicks, or any other team for that matter, but it could become interesting to see how SVG and the Pistons react if Reggie is offered a max contract. Where does Stan draw the line financially? Will Detroit find itself in a Thunder-type conundrum, with too many good players and not enough money to share around? How does this affect the re-signing of Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond or even Brandon Jennings?
Imagining both Greg Monroe and Reggie Jackson playing the triangle offense in Knicks uniforms is a nightmare many Pistons fans may have not imagined in their wildest dreams, but it seems Phil Jackson is intent on bringing some young talent in to surround an aging Carmelo Anthony. When Derek Fisher said that the Knicks were looking to replicate Detroit's post-Smith situation, I don't think anyone believed this is what he meant.