Add the Spurs, Sixers and the Celtics to the list of cap-space laden teams looking to acquire Greg Monroe, with Steve Kyler at Basketball Insiders shedding light on the FA board of several NBA teams. The LA Lakers and New York Knicks have already made their intentions clear on entering into the Monroe sweepstakes, and while the Philadelphia 76ers are only longshots to actually offer the Georgetown product a long term contract, the Boston Celtics reportedly place Monroe as second only to Kevin Love on their free agency big board. This is what we know so far about the Detroit Pistons' competition for the Moose's services:
According to Kyler, Greg Monroe is one of three free agents that has accepted to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers over the offseason, with Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo being the other aforementioned two. Mitch Kupchak will be looking to overhaul the roster come the offseason, with his team also being linked to young standouts Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris.
A retooling is also in the works for the New York Knicks, as it was earlier reported that they had interest in pursuing both Reggie Jackson and Greg Monroe among other notable free agents options. The name associated the most with the Knicks other than Monroe's is the Bulls' Jimmy Butler, who will also be expected to land a big payday once negotiations commence.
The San Antonio Spurs could also send an offer sheet Monroe's way, as they were one of the teams with the most interest in the New Orleans native over the last offseason according to Kyler. While not their prime target - that award goes to Marc Gasol, the Spurs seem keen enough on Monroe to want to reconsider contract commitments to other rostered players. A sign-and-trade would be the most likely option if anything were to materialize.
Who knows what Sam Hinkie and the Sixers are up to in Philadelphia, but Steve Kyler seems to think they will be hitting free agency with the intent of acquiring some promising young talents. The Piston pick and roll tandem of Greg Monroe and Reggie Jackson are apparently in their sights along with several other of the League restricted free agents.
After landing Jonas Jerebko at the deadline, it seems the Boston Celtics are poised to take a swing at another Piston big man. Danny Ainge reportedly has Monroe ranked below Kevin Love, but higher than other heralded players like Gasol, Butler and Kawhi Leonard. The Celtics are looking to land a marquee name to add next to Isaiah Thomas, and are looking for possible sign-and-trade opportunities if they get verbal commitments from certain players.
Where does all this leave the Pistons? As Steve Kyler points out, not too bad:
The Pistons are going to have cash to play with. You might not realize it because they have two of the bigger names in the 2015 Free Agent class in Jackson and Monroe, but the Pistons hold Bird Rights on both and could simply carry their respective cap holds into free agency, spend their free agent cash and then sign those Bird Righted players and exceed the cap.
With $27 million to play with, the Pistons become max offer sheet players for virtually the entire class; Butler, Harris, Rondo or even Gasol. If Monroe opts to stick around, the list of options shrinks a little as the Pistons wouldn't have a max offer slot, but $17 million is nothing to sniff at - that's real money in a market that could have a lot of veteran supporting players.
As the math illustrates, there is a dark horse in 2015 free agent race and it might be the Pistons.
Where do you stand on the Moose sweepstakes?