With the Detroit Pistons on the edge of the NBA playoff picture, no one really knows for sure whether they will be buyers or sellers—or sitters—at the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
If they turn out to be sellers, one name sure to come up in trade talks will be soon-to-be restricted free agent Greg Monroe. In fact, his name has already surfaced among gossip, and according to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy, the Washington Wizards are already interested in acquiring the former Georgetown big man:
One team that is interested in Monroe is the Washington Wizards, according to multiple league sources. It’s becoming clear that Washington is planning to pursue Monroe, either through trade or free agency.
Obviously, snatching Monroe via free agency would be the more difficult task. With the power forward set to hit restricted free agency in the summer, the Pistons could match any offer sheet he may sign with the Wizards.
They would probably do it, too, as Monroe is one of the most talented young bigs in the Association.
Although he hasn't quite taken the leap many expected after averaging 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest during his sophomore season in 2011-12, Monroe is still putting up healthy numbers.
In 32.3 minutes, he is scoring 14.4 points on 50.3 percent shooting to go with 8.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest. Moreover, according to NBA.com, the Pistons are scoring 3.7 points per 100 possessions more with Monroe on the court than with him off it.
Monroe's defense leaves a little bit to be desired, but with his offensive skill set at just 23 years of age, his potential is still sky high. But as Kennedy noted, the thought is that the Pistons would use his immense value to upgrade another position while moving Josh Smith—whom they signed to a four-year, $54 million contract in the summer—to his more natural power forward spot.
Still, even if Detroit is willing to part ways with Monroe, it's hard to imagine it getting sufficient value from the Wizards. Bradley Beal is likely off the table, leaving rookie Otto Porter and a bunch of expiring contracts as the other assets.
In other words, the interest in Monroe may be high now, but don't expect anything to happen in the near future.