The Sporting News reported Wednesday that Stan Van Gundy’s ascension to the top of the Pistons’ basketball operations group likely means the end of center Greg Monroe’s time in Detroit. From one league GM:
“There are two things that made [the Pistons] job better for Stan,” the GM said. “One is the fact that he gets to make personnel decisions, that is a big deal of course. But the other is Andre Drummond. If you want to build your team around a young player, Drummond is the guy. You’re not going to build around both him and Monroe, they had too much trouble making that work. You pick Drummond and move on from Monroe.”
Drummond, of course, it Detroit’s 20-year-old budding superstar, a 6-foot-10-inch ball of athleticism rapidly picking up speed as it rolls. He finished second in the NBA in field goal percentage (.623) and rebounds per game (13.2), and was first in rebound percentage and offensive rebound percentage. Drummond was fourth in offensive rating at 121.2 points per 100 possessions. He’s not going anywhere.
Monroe is a different case. Slightly longer and slimmer than Drummond, he’s less dominant in the paint and a less efficient shooter at .497. Still, he averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 2013-14, and that kind of production is hard to find in a big man. He’s a restricted free agent this offseason.
Sporting News’ Sean Deveney speculates that Monroe could be offered a max deal like the one fellow Georgetown product Roy Hibbert got when he became a free agent. Hibbert was offered a four-year max deal worth $58 million by Portland. The Pacers matched the offer.
If that’s the kind of money Monroe will command, the Celtics are better not to be involved. The C’s are at least two or three years from contention if all goes right, and Monroe’s salary will eat up too much salary. If you haven’t noticed, the C’s are more than two or three players away, too.
There’s also the issue of what Monroe does that could help a team. He does a lot of things well but nothing exceptionally well, failing to impress in the block category and in rebound percentage, which is a measure of how many boards he gets to vs. how many he should. A max deal for Monroe? The Celtics are better off taking a one-year trade flier on Omer Asik, who pairs better next to Jared Sullinger and is a true rim protector.