Report: Pistons Could Trade Greg Monroe, Others

By Vincent Frank

At 5-19 on the season, it’s rather evident that the current group of Detroit Pistons players simply aren’t getting it done. Short of a complete turnaround, which seems unlikely, this could lead to wholesale changes on the roster.

And according to numerous reports, the team could soon go into full “firesale mode.”

The Sporting News is indicating that Detroit wants a first-round pick for former lottery selection Greg Monroe. The issue with this is that Monroe is set to become a free agent following the season, which might make it difficult for a team to yield such an important piece. Monroe also signed a qualifying offer with the Pistons in the offseason, which means he can void any deal if he sees fit.

By accepting that qualifying offer, Monroe also has Bird Rights if he’s remains with the Pistons. This would enable him to get a larger deal should he re-sign with the team.

And according to a separate report, Monroe is disinterested in waiving those rights in a trade.

The drama.

While the talented big man has in the past said he wouldn’t relinquish those Bird Rights, it does appear that he wants to be moved. If he’s not planning on re-signing with Detroit in the offseason, those Bird Rights mean absolutely nothing.

It just remains to be seen if the Pistons and another team can come together on a deal that might be pretty complicated.

Not so complicated is the situation surrounding Josh Smith, one of the most overrated players in the NBA. The 29-year-old forward is averaging under 14 points per game for the first time since 2005-2006 and is shooting just 39 percent from the field. He’s also set to earn $27 million over the next two seasons. That’s not a contract any team is going to want to pick up.

Guard Brandon Jennings also appears to be available. But much like Smith, he’s not necessarily a valuable carrot to dangle on the trade block.

The real cornerstone to any potential deal for the Pistons would be Monroe, who is averaging just 15 points and nine rebounds per game. Both numbers are his lowest since his rookie campaign back in 2010-2011. With that said, Monroe possesses All-Star upside if utilized correctly.

There are a ton of Western Conference teams that would love to take Monroe off Detroit’s hands. Adding a big body like that would do wonders to compete against a Golden State Warriors team that might have some issues upfront moving forward this year. And at this point, contending teams in that conference have to start focusing on how to dismantle the 21-2 Warriors.

Photo: Fox Sports