Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe is the best player on this list by a wide margin, and he's expected to get paid like it. Monroe will be entering restricted free agency, where it appears likely he'll receive a max offer sheet somewhere. Here's David Aldridge at NBA.com with his take on the situation:
The problem, as the Pistons knew last fall, is that Monroe's agent is David Falk. He has gotten the price he said he'd get for his clients for two decades -- and he says the price for Monroe will be a max contract.
Two years ago, when a big deal for Indiana's Roy Hibbert, a Falk client, seemed doubtful, Falk created a one-team market. Portland dropped a four-year, $58 million sheet on Indiana for Hibbert. The Pacers matched, and are no doubt happy they did, but Falk proved he can still find suitors when he has to for his guys.
If Falk finds a team ready to give Monroe the max or something close to it, expect Detroit to match the offer sheet and worry about the money later.
The issue with that, of course, is that Detroit has failed to make the Monroe-Josh Smith-Andre Drummond frontcourt trio work, as the Pistons are currently 15 games below .500 and outside of the playoff picture in the dreadful Eastern Conference.
Is sacrificing cap space and fit worth doing in order to retain a promising and already productive 24-year-old big man? It's going to be a tough decision for whoever ends up calling the shots in Detroit, but it would seem like a sign-and-trade deal to a team with cap room might make the most sense here.
Detroit simply can't afford to let Monroe walk and receive nothing in return, but it might not be able to afford keeping him around either.
Monroe should have multiple suitors, so the Pistons could get a decent reward for moving him. Given how poorly the fit has been in Detroit, it would be a surprise if Monroe didn't start next year on a different team, one way or another.