Greg Monroe took rare steps last offseason signing the Detroit Pistons' qualifying offer so that he could enter this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. He has stated that he did so that he could have control over where he played. He risked injury and millions of dollars. On Monday, Terry Foster of The Detroit News quoted Monroe saying that the Pistons are still a viable option.
"I don't know why people have the notion or the thought that I am just out of here already, like it is one foot out the door," said Monroe, 24. "At the end of the day, I am going to do what any free agent would do. I will listen to everybody and assess it."
And that is the smart thing to do. As has been reported many times, the Pistons are the team that can offer him the most money. Holding his bird rights, they can offer him five years while no other team can offer him more than four. They can also give him annual raises of 7.5% while other teams can only offer 4.5%. If he wants the money, Detroit could (doesn't mean they will) offer him the most. Monroe knows this...
"I have ties here; I have been here my whole (adult) life," Monroe said. "They drafted me, so of course I am going to listen to them with the same ear as I listen to everybody else. They have the upper hand."
Depending on how you read that last line, it could be read as though the money is the most important thing. If you take in the previous two sentences as context, then it sounds like familiarity might be important as well. Nobody knows for sure.
However, though there is familiarity and Monroe knows what Stan Van Gundy is all about, the Pistons will still have to woo him.
"You know I talked to him [Tom Gores/Stan Van Gundy] multiple times," Monroe said. "I know what he is all about and I understand what he is trying to do. I have had some battles with them sometimes.
"If he feels I am important and he wants to come down I appreciate it."
Battles? What battles? I haven't heard anything about battles. Wait a minute, how was he injured in practice?
Honestly, I hope they were healthy battles. It is good for a team to have some contention as long as it is handled maturely and respectfully. If both parties are looking out for their own best interest but willing to come to terms so they both get the most that they can while succeeding together, that's the best option. Hopefully that is what Monroe and Gores/Van Gundy can do when hashing out contract negotiations. No, the world won't end if Monroe leaves, but he will be difficult to replace.