Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
In 2012 Monroe nearly made the Eastern Conference All-Star team in a breakout sophomore season. In his third year he was the best player on the Pistons' roster, but he showed only marginal improvement in his game.
Monroe is a very talented player, and this season he averaged 16 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He also improved as a passer, as his assists jumped from 2.3 per game to 3.5.
There were a few troubling things this season for Monroe, however. Despite playing two more minutes per game, he averaged .7 fewer offensive rebounds. Also, his field-goal percentage dipped from 52.1 in 2011-12 to 48.6 percent this season. His turnover average also jumped from 2.4 to 2.9.
Some of this likely results from Monroe shouldering a bigger offensive load for the Pistons, but it is concerning. At just 22 years old he should still have plenty of room to grow as a player, but his improvement statistically was minor at best this season.
An even bigger concern for the Pistons should be his lackluster defense. Monroe is often late on rotations and looks slow-footed. Ideally, Drummond will make up for many of Monroe's deficiencies in the future as the two play more minutes together.
That being said, Monroe does perform better defensively against power forwards, a good sign for the Drummond-Monroe pairing. He gives up a PER of 19.6 to opposing centers, but a much more respectable 16.0 to power forwards, per 82games.com.
Monroe was the Pistons' best player this season, and he is someone that they can build around for the future. They would just like to see more improvement from him in year four than they saw in year three.
2012-13 Grade: B+