Recently, I wrote an article that posited that the Detroit Pistons' young center Greg Monroe may be approaching his ceiling as a player.
Obviously this is up for debate and should be; the Pistons, despite their poor play over the last few years, still have a passionate fanbase that loves spirited debates. I love that.
So if we are going to take it a step further and surmise that the Pistons' best bet may be to trade Monroe while his value is still high, what exactly could the Pistons hope to get for him?
Here are five potential deals that the Pistons could get for Greg Monroe.
Detroit Pistons deal Greg Monroe and Charlie Villanueva to New Orleans Hornets for Greivis Vasquez, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ryan Anderson
The Pistons brought in Jose Calderon this year in the Rudy Gay trade and hoped to get a good look at him prior to his free agency during the summer. But he will be 32 before next season, and there is no guarantee that he returns to Detroit.
What the Pistons really need is a long-term answer at the point guard position. Greivis Vasquez could be that answer. He is averaging nearly 14 points per game along with over nine assists per contest. He has excellent size and could pair well with Brandon Knight.
Ryan Anderson could be just the answer as a stretch-4. He is hitting nearly 39 percent of his three-pointers as well as grabbing just under seven rebounds. He is also only 24 and is under contract for the next four years.
Al-Farouq Aminu is an athletic forward who could be developed into a defensive stopper. At the very least, he adds athleticism and can rebound.
The Pistons would probably also have to throw in a future first-round pick. But Monroe is the top player in this deal and is a potential franchise center. He also would work well with Anthony Davis.
Charlie Villanueva would be a poor man's version of Anderson but would also be an expiring deal after next season.
A starting lineup of Vasquez, Knight, Andre Drummond and Anderson along with whomever the Pistons are able to draft in this offseason to start at small forward would be an excellent, young group that would be financially viable.
Pistons trade Greg Monroe to Phoenix Suns for Markieff Morris, Kendall Marshall and 2013 first-round pick
The Pistons could spend money on middle-of-the-road free agents like Tony Allen or Corey Brewer, but there aren't any game-changers available to Detroit.
Therefore, their best chance is to build through this draft.
They already should have a top five pick of their own, but they should push hard to get another pick in the top 10.
Phoenix is a natural trading partner for Detroit. They are in the Western Conference, so the Pistons won't have to play them more than twice a year. Secondly, the Suns could easily use an elite big man given the fact that Marcin Gortat is rapidly regressing and could be trade bait himself.
The Pistons are going to want at least one big man in return and luckily the Suns have a few of them. Markieff Morris is a physical, young power forward with a nice midrange jumper and solid rebounding ability.
Kendall Marshall is another nice young player whom the Pistons could add to the fold. A pass-first point guard, Marshall could develop into a nice backup for the Pistons for years to come.
The real star of this trade is the first-round pick. As of now, the Suns' pick could be a top-five or -six selection. For Detroit, that could lead to not only a point guard, but also an elite wing player.
The Pistons could draft someone like Trey Burke and also someone like either Otto Porter or Ben McLemore.
If that comes to fruition, whether or not Morris or Marshall pans out would be a moot point.
Pistons trade Monroe to Washington Wizards for Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton and 2013 first-round pick
Washington is a franchise that has been floundering for years. At the very least, the Wizards did well a few years ago when they drafted John Wall to be their point guard of the future.
However, not a lot of their other picks have panned out. Jan Vesely is looking more and more like a flop, Bradley Beal has had an up-and-down season, and Chris Singleton has been wildly inconsistent.
From their perspective, what sense does it make to have another lottery pick that may not pan out?
Besides, they could easily use another big guy, especially if they want to get out from under Emeka Okafor's huge salary, which will be expiring next season.
Kevin Seraphin would provide nice interior depth for Detroit, perhaps even a starter. He is long, big and physical.
Singleton has been a bust in Washington but is just the type of physical wing defender that Detroit has been lacking. At the very least, he is a nice bench player to play on a situational basis.
Again, the real star of this trade is the pick. The Washington pick could be in the top seven, which would give the Pistons an opportunity to get a point guard and a wing.
Detroit trades Monroe to Charlotte Bobcats for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 2013 first-round pick
Okay, so this one is a deal that the Charlotte Bobcats would have to be fairly stupid in order to take, but let's face it, they are pretty stupid.
The moves that they have made over the last few years have been mind-boggling to say the least, and their current record bears that out.
Sure, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has struggled quite a bit this year; he is very limited offensively, and he isn't exactly showing a ton of improvements. His defense is good, but for a No. 2 overall pick, he had better be all-world.
That being said, he is an elite athlete who is incredibly young, plays with a high motor and loves contact. He also has a natural leadership quality in him, something that has been sorely lacking for this Pistons team.
Charlotte's pick is a nice one, perhaps even the top pick overall. But what they are lacking, besides an elite shooting guard, is size up front. Since former No. 1 pick Bismack Biyombo still looks like a project, the Bobcats could really use a franchise big man to build around.
Monroe, if he were in this draft, would be the top big man without question. The only player that rivals him is Nerlens Noel who is raw offensively and is coming off of a knee injury. Therefore, it really isn't hard to justify giving up essentially two No. 1 picks for him.
If the Pistons could pull the trigger on this deal, they would have a potentially elite defender at the small forward spot, plus the option of drafting a point guard and drafting either a power forward or a shooting guard.
Pistons trade Greg Monroe to Minnesota Timberwolves for Alexey Shved and 2013 first-round pick
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a unique situation. Despite being one of the league's most dysfunctional teams for the better part of the last decade, they finally have put some pieces together.
Ricky Rubio is on the cusp of stardom despite injuries, Kevin Love might be the most talented all-around big man in the game, and they have done a fine job in supplementing that talent through the draft in recent years.
That being said, center Nikola Pekovic is a free agent, and the Timberwolves are going to need to replace him potentially after the season.
Even if he sticks around, he is already 27 years old and could be primed for a Marcin Gortat fall.
The Timberwolves don't have a ton of holes in their lineup, so another lottery pick might not be overly needed.
What would be a nice addition would be a difference-making big man to park next to Kevin Love.
Sure, this team wouldn't be great down low defensively, but it would score a ton with two big men that can pass the rock and score in multiple ways.
For Detroit, Alexey Shved would be a great player to plug into the lineup. He is tall (6'6"), can shoot from deep (although his 29 percent mark is somewhat disconcerting, it is also misleading considering how much attention the defense can focus on him given the injury woes in Minnesota) and is a natural playmaker who can create shots for himself and teammates.
This year he has shown that he can play the point plus both wing positions. At the very least, he would be a nice bench player.
The Minnesota pick would probably be somewhere around the seventh or eighth pick overall, giving the Pistons a chance to draft two impact players.