Several members of Rapture Nation have been beating the drums for the acquisition by the Toronto Raptors of Greg Monroe. Currently the starting Power Forward for the Detroit Pistons, Monroe has been the subject of trade speculation for some time. Stan Van Gundy has been parachuted in to the Motor City to energize a moribund organization, and he’s very likely to shake things up. Why not? The Pistons haven’t made the playoffs in the NBA’s shabby Eastern Conference for five seasons. Van Gundy may decide that Monroe is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, and put him on the market.
Greg, who will be 24 shortly, is a massive hulk of a human being, standing 6’11″ and weighing in at 250 well-sculpted pounds. He was selected with the #7 pick (fun fact: Greg is the highest pick the Pistons have had since they chose Darko Milicic, a legendary bust, #2 in 2003) in 2010 out of Georgetown University. Monroe quickly established himself in pro ball, and has missed only one game in the past three seasons. He has been a model of consistency in statistical terms, which is not entirely complimentary. While averaging 15+ points and 9+ rebounds is fine, he did that in his second season – and his third and fourth as well. He’s yet to attempt a 3-ball.
As noted, Greg’s team hasn’t exactly been a terror during his career. The Pistons are 112-201 since he’s been there, so one wonders whether he’s grown complacent while cashing big cheques. Greg is a restricted free agent, with a qualifying offer at $5.4M. Is he worth that kind of money to Toronto?
I’m torn, frankly. If we could dump Chuck Hayes or Landry Fields in exchange, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but Van Gundy isn’t a sap. He would likely ask for Terrence Ross, and I wouldn’t do that deal, ever. Nor would I swap Patrick Patterson, although I’m not so adamant.
Does Monroe want to be a great player? If not, he’s no more than a top journeyman, and not worth the disruption to the Raps’ chemistry. If he does, and if he’s coachable (also not clear), I’d find a way to bring him on board, but only if my other options have been exhausted. My first choice remains Tristan Thompson, who I think would be easier to acquire, and more motivated.
OK, savvy readers, I’ve made my pitch, without much enthusiasm. Can you do better? Share your thoughts in the Comments.