Jan 26, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe (10) reacts during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Dallas won 116-106. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto's Kyle Lowry to Detroit for Greg Monroe?

Feb 1, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts to NBA referee Gary Zielinski (59) in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 1, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts to NBA referee Gary Zielinski (59) in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

There being no word from Toronto Raptors management about an contract in place to keep Kyle Lowry for the long term, we at the Rapture are going to start assessing trades. Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we would rather keep Kyle a Raptor for a long time, but he has to be moved if he won’t sign a new deal before the trade deadline of February 20. If he’s not traded, he can walk in the off-season, and the Raps get nothing. [20-second timeout: if I were Kyle, I wouldn't sign now. He's having a breakout season and will be 28 when next season tips off, a prime age to receive a huge multi-year contract. He and his agent should wait until the off-season to get a stack of offers in the door.]

trade candidate: power forward Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons. He’s a 23-year-old giant from Georgetown University, who’s in his third Motown season. If you believe, as I do, that big men mature late, Greg’s game has not yet plateaued. That makes him highly desirable, because he’s already more than respectable. Greg is averaging 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds Per Game [PG] this season, while sharing the frontcourt duties with an All-Star to be, Andre Drummond. Having two offensive-minded 7-footers is proving to be a floor-spacing challenge for the Pistons.

The Pistons claim to be turning down all offers for Monroe, and that may be the truth. But if I’m embattled GM Joe Dumars, I’ve got to do something. Detroit’s record is 19-27, while the Raps are 25-22. In my view, those are exactly the opposite of the teams’ records a pundit would have guessed for this point in the season. The Eastern Conference is so weak that the Pistons may still have a shot at the playoffs (assuming that’s what they want), but if they are in the lottery again, it’s hard to imagine even the much-loved Dumars retaining his job.

Verdict: Until recently, any team which traded big for small would be trashed in the press. However, the advent of “small ball” seems to have turned that cliche around. The Trade Machine is firmly behind Detroit in this deal, with the Raps “losing” 6 games and the Pistons breaking even. I think that’s an accurate assessment, as the Raps would be forced to start Greivis Vasquez at point, an idea which turns my stomach. Greivis gives a solid effort, but is much too slow to match up with the best of the opponents’ kids like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker or John Wall. He’s also 27, so improvement isn’t in the cards. Monroe’s arrival would punt Amir Johnson to the bench.

Likelihood: 5%. This deal will happen close to the deadline only under these circumstances: Detroit believes they can make a playoff run with Kyle at point, he’s stonewalling the Raps, and Pistons’ management think he’ll sign with them.

WWMD [What Will Masai Do?]: If it’s the only deal on the table, Raps’ GM Masai Ujiri will take it, as it’s better than no deal at all. Even if Monroe doesn’t work out, a skilled big man like him will be an appealing trade chip for other teams in the off-season.

What do you think, Rapture Nation? And Pistons fans, please weigh in with your Comments as well.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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Tags: Detroit Pistons Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors

  • Greg Hall

    I, for one, do not wish to lose Kyle Lowry, however if this trade is done and Monroe is the starting PF that means that Amir Johnson will be on the trade block most likely (possible others) with the target being a starting PG. That would truly be interesting to see who/what Masai Ujiri would be able to come up with. The Raptors certainly would have a powerful starting lineup if they could acquire a good point guard.

    C: Jonas Valanciunas
    PF: Greg Monroe
    SF: Terrance Ross
    SG: DeMar DeRozan
    PG: ??? (worst case scenario Greivis Vasquez)

    C: Johnson, Hayes, Hansborogh, Patterson
    PF: Johnson, Patterson, Hansborogh, Novak, Daye
    SF: Salmons, Fields, Stone, Novak, Daye
    SG: Salmons, Fields, Stone, Buycks
    PG: Stone, Buycks

    If a starting point guard could be acquired, likely for one of Johnson, Hansborogh, Novak, Daye, Fields, Stone, Buycks or some combination of those guys that seems like one formidable lineup.

    To comment on just the single player for player trade, I say no thanks, give us our playoff push and let Kyle walk for nothing if it comes down to it.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Greg:
      “worst case scenario Greivis Vasquez” – HEAR, HEAR. I like Vaz a lot as a back-up, but he simply doesn’t project as the starting PG on a championship contender, which we’d like the Raps to be in 2 years.
      On your final point: I understand your feelings about keeping Kyle around for the playoffs, then taking our chances, but to me it’s too risky. We’ve lost too many guys for nothing. Let’s keep looking for sensible trades.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • BIG WoRm

    If we trade him we need a PG

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi BW:
      Yes, we do. But I like our chances of getting one if we increase our complement of talented big men.
      Thanks for commenting, and I hope you return.

  • http://www.facebook.com/asifyouknow Al Asifyouknow

    “Turn your stomach” aren’t you being a bit of a drama queen here..The guy can run a team and there is plenty speed in the wings to help, if they get Monroe there will be plenty of muscle inside …plus Vaz has been playing very good team defense lately…so please…This guy can run this team…

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Al:
      Good for you for picking up on that turn of phrase. I hesitated before selecting “turns my stomach”, then decided I wanted to leave no doubt as to how I felt. Vaz can run the team…in short stretches. But he’s no long term solution. And who’s his backup – Julyan Stone?
      If we’re going to attract top-notch free agents, they are going to want to win, first and foremost. A great point guard is essential, and Vaz isn’t.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • asifyouknow

        Fair enough. All opinions are valid but I feel the guy can be very helpful to the Raptors and I feel this might be his place. I believe it was your GM that got him into high school here. So I feel he got someone who likes him here..Many fans are thinking he is gone I think he is staying.
        As for the Vaz trade rumors, oh my God is the Bleacher Report and even though I wrote for them a few years…please is the BR

        • Newmarket_Brian

          ?? – did your comment get truncated – ?? Can you try again? It seems like some words have been dropped.

    • Tommy Fait

      He can run it as a back up PG.. that’s it..

      • Newmarket_Brian

        Hi Tommy:
        I’m with you.
        Thanks for commenting.

  • Guy

    I think you’re missing one thing regarding the Lowry situation, & that’s the potential for a sign & trade in the off-season. If a team could acquire him with the certainty he’d be under contract for years(As his current team, Raps can sign him to an extra year), the return would be much higher than taking a ‘best that we could do’ deal at the deadline.

    As for Vasquez, I don’t quite understand the horrified attitude. The guy is just a little over a year removed from posting 14 pts/9asst per game as a starter in New Orleans & he’s clearly developed some chemistry with the guys. Ideally, you’d need to upgrade the starting Pg position to become a true contender, but in the meantime, I don’t believe Vasquez as starter is anywhere near the doomsday scenario. The bigger problem would be the backup Pg.

    My preference…. unless a fantastic offer for Lowry materializes before the deadline, you keep him &, using other assets, try to add another big man for the playoffs. If you are unable to re-sign KL in the off-season, execute the sign & trade.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy:
      See my reply below to “Al”. Let me be clear, as he suggested I was too harsh on Vaz, and you do too. I like Vaz a LOT and hope he’s a Rap for a long time. But the goal of the Raptors is a championship, and I remain firm in my belief that we can’t get there if he’s the starter for a long period of time. He’s perfectly cast as Kyle’s backup. I enjoy watching them play together, which is a clever ploy on Dwane Casey’s part.
      As for sign-&-trade: you may well be right, but those things are fiendishly difficult to pull off. All commentary I’ve read about the punitive clauses in the new CBA indicates that teams will be leery of tying up big money/multi-year deals to anyone.
      I like the fact that you act as my conscience on these matters, as I freely admit I’m not a CBA expert. For that stuff, I turn to Larry Coon (or you!)…or just avoid it, to the extent possible.
      Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments.

  • Tyler Amario

    What do you think of a trade that sent Monroe and Bynum to the Raptors for Lowry and Novak plus a 2nd rounder? Would you do that trade?

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Tyler:
      I ran your deal through the Trade Machine, and it works. I’ve never been a huge Bynum fan, but if that’s what it takes to get Detroit to send us Monroe, then Yes, I’d do the deal. Losing Novak would hurt, but not enough to stop me.
      Good trade.
      Thanks for commenting.