Apr 13, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) dribbles around Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) in the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Raptors get Greg Monroe from Detroit – and should they?


Oct 15, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Celtics center Darko Milicic (99) celebrates scoring during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

 

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.

 

Tags: Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe Toronto Raptors

  • Ryan Caldwell

    You’re an idiot….monroe will get a max contract from someone this summer….he’s a 16-10 24 year old center who can pass…that’s rare. Terrence Ross is good but how dies he fit in Toronto…he’s not a 3, he’s a 2. Toronto would be smart to give up Ross for monroe if stan the man is that stupid

    • Newmarket_Brian

      If Monroe can get a max contract, more power to him. He should do it.
      Whether Ross is a 3 or a 2 is moot. If he continues to progress the way I think he can and will, he’ll be an All-Star in 2016.
      Dial down the insults. You do yourself no favours.

      • Ryan Caldwell

        Ross won’t be an allstar until he’s the go to guy and with Lowry and Derozen he might not get the chance.

        • yeeyee

          but once ross develops his 3 point shot to being consistent he would be the perfect compliment to lowry’s driving style, and derozan’s slashing style.

  • Take it in

    I will make a move for Greg I watch for years and he’s a beast he is a problem the man is on a losing team with no chemistry him and jv in the front court that’s big he’s a steal in everyone’s eyes

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Tii:
      Greg may well be a steal, or we may be seeing all he’s got. It’s very difficult to know. If we could get him without giving up too much, or breaking the bank, I’d say do it. Even if we overpaid a little by tossing in our first-round pick, I wouldn’t mind, because an established big man like him can always be traded if he wasn’t working out.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Take it in

        I think there is a level or two left in Greg he is very young and not even polish there’s lots of room for improvement he has a nice left hand mid range jump shot to spread floor for the guards to work

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi:
          I suspect Greg wants out of Detroit, and we won’t see him at his best until he is.
          Regards,
          Brian

          • Take it in

            True I would rather his best as a raptor if we could swing him in

  • Jensan

    Monroe over Thompson easily. SVG claims he wants to keep Monroe. Patterson for Monroe in a heartbeat . Three man rotation of JV , Monroe and Johnson and than a fourth PF. – who plays similar to Patrick Patterson. Monroe would be a 4/40.
    Than sign and trade luol Deng 4/48 similar to Iggy.
    Line up – Lowry, DD, Deng,Monroe and JV salaries totaling 45 million
    Back up- Vasquez , TRoss, Johnson , 1st round pick and Novak total salary -16.5 million
    Bench – Hayes , fields 2nd round pick- 12.7 million
    Buyouts-2.6 million
    Total Salaries-$76.3 just under salary cap
    You would save 5 million with Thompson , but Monroe is a

    • Brian Roberts

      Monroe is not signing for 4/40. Several teams have already stated they’re planning on offering max long term deals to him. Not are the Pistons going to let him walk for Patrick Patterson.
      Sorry

      • Jensan

        Brian, I do not dispute your logic, to me, do you wish to spend your monies on 4/60 for Monroe and wait till he becomes the beast he will be at the age of 26 or 27. Not that he is not a solid player now,
        Or do you wish to spend similar amounts of monies on a starting SF (12 to 14) and resign PP and keep Amir.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi Jensan:
          If Monroe is truly going to receive such a huge raise, I’d let him go. Someone else can take on that money. I’d rather have 2 or even 3 PFs I can count on, rather than a giant gamble on one guy getting better.
          I suppose it’s a philosophical position, or maybe I’m just a wuss. It’s the same reason I didn’t like the Rudy Gay deal when it was announced. Getting rid of Ed & Jose for one player? No.
          Regards,
          Brian

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jensan:
      Always good to hear from you…
      Luol Deng? Really? I love what you’ve laid out, but I question its likelihood. Oh well, we can dream. Still mulling David Lee.
      Best,
      Brian

  • Yuggy

    Ha ha. This article is amusing, the writer views the Raptors players quite a bit better than most people do, and underrates Monroe significantly. Is he Motivated? G. Monroe brings it every night and clearly takes the losing personally. He has been the hardest working front court player on the team each season he’s been in Detroit. Monroe plays with more energy than Smith and Drummond, no doubt about it. He’s intelligent and mature beyond his years, which is why I don’t believe the PIstons will trade him. Maybe you can argue T. Ross fits better than Monroe for Toronto, if you still believe JV is going to be that good. But Monroe is easily the best player of those 3 and he’d be a major upgrade at Center at JV (though I know Raps fans dont want to believe it). There’s no doubt in my mind Monroe is a 20 and 10 player as a starting center, he’s had to relinquish a lot of mins there the last 2 seasons which is why his stats flatlined. But I do believe he can play PF and backup C in Detroit at a high level, he’s great in the high post, which is where PF’s play, continuing to develop the 17 ft jumper is a priority though. Some nights it looks great, others he looks hesitant to shoot it.

    • Take it in

      Yep I see what you see Greg is a beast now he is a dominate force on the boards and in the post

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Yuggy:
      If “most people” don’t appreciate how good Raptor players are, that’s their shortcoming. Our squad ended the season as Atlantic Division champs with a 48-34 record, despite starting two sophomore players most of the way.
      I like Monroe; I wouldn’t bother doing an trade analysis otherwise. As to who’s a better player today between Monroe & TRoss, there’s no argument – it’s Greg. But I’m looking into the future, and counting on our man’s continued development. Let’s see where each is in two years.
      You can make all manner of excuses for Monroe’s flatlining, but the fact remains: his team has gone nowhere with him as a starter. Sooner or later, he has to wear some of that.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Yuggy

    Why he’s staying in Detroit: Sports analysts didn’t get to where they are out of intelligence. They don’t understand the CBA that well. The Pistons are going over the cap either way this summer and they’ll be there for the forseeable future. Once you’re over the cap, there is no impact until you get near the luxury tax. However J Smith will be expiring in Drummonds first year on a new deal, therefore signing Monroe for 14 per vs. 10 per makes little difference to the Pistons in terms of roster payroll. Secondly, the going line in the media is that Monroe doesn’t fit. That was not true last year, he fit very well next to Drummond or Smith. What did not work last year was Smith at SF. All the Pistons worst +/- came with Smith at SF, but there’s 96 mpg at PF and C. The Pistons don’t need to make room for Smith, there already is room. He doesn’t need 38 mpg. Drummond is young and 290lbs, he won’t play more than 33-34 mpg at a high level until he learns how to conserve energy as a vet. That leaves 15 mpg, just under half his minutes, for Monroe at backup center every night.

  • Adam Banig

    Yes, Smith isn’t a good fit at small forward – Smith’s a great fit as an uber athletic stretch 4. Monroe can get a max deal somewhere else, like Washington, Toronto, New Orleans, Charlotte etc, and I think the pistons see Drummond as the more important commodity.

    I see Monroe leaving, Smith sliding to PF and the Pistons signing Carmello Anthony and a SG.

    You know, the guy they should have taken 12 years ago instead are Darko! Lol

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Adam:
      Carmelo in Detroit? I can’t see it.
      I certainly agree that Detroit sees Drummond as more important than Monroe. If I were them, I’d be thinking about a sign-&-trade. God only knows what they will do with Smith – what a flop.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Adam Banig

        Smith isn’t a “flop,” the Pistons just had him playing Small forward, when he’s Power Forward.

        Letting Monroe go, or conducting a sign & trade with him, is what they should do.

        Then, sign Carmelo to be their go to wing scorer (which Josh Smith isn’t) and the Pistons will be at least 10 games better for it.

        Last year, they had too many guys on their front line with similar skill sets.

  • yeeyee

    In my opinion, if Chris Bosh was to opt out of his contract in Miami, I feel like he would be a perfect 4 for the team. If we were able to get him at a reasonable price, he would work great with the team as a stretch 4. But it is a very far-fetched idea that he’ll sign for cheap and/or that he’ll opt out. Another option I think would be Adrien Payne in the first round if he’s still there.

  • Guy

    I’d love to see Monroe as a Raptor. Slide him in at PF & you’d have a very potent front court combo for years with him and Valanciunas. I think the article makes an error in suggesting that Monroe could amount to nothing more than a journeyman. Averages of 15+/9+ the past three years are not journeyman numbers. Roy Hibbert averaged 11+/7+ the past three years. Marc Gasol 14+/8. Are they journeymen? Numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s a question of fit. Would Monroe fit in TO? I think he would.

    The real question is what would it take to acquire him. If some other team(s) out there offer him a max contract, then forget it. Monroe is a good player but not worth max money. Assuming a sign/trade as opposed to Detroit just letting Monroe walk for nothing should he be offered a big contract… what would Van Gundy want in return? Would Ujiri be willing to pay the price if he was indeed interested in Monroe. Some definite unknowns.

    One thing I feel confident about tho, Tristan Thompson would not improve the Raptors.