The future of the Detroit Pistons' prized restricted free agent Greg Monroe is still uncertain.
The talented 24-year-old big man is a wanted man, but because of the terms surrounding restricted free agency, teams have been slow to make offers to him.
According to Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post, the Phoenix Suns may have big plans that include Monroe and their own restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe:
Hearing Suns may be considering a Greg Monroe offer. They have space to get both him and Bledsoe but would lose cap flexibility long-term.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 20, 2014
The Suns surprised the league last season and barely missed the playoffs in the rugged Western Conference. Adding the likes of Monroe would give head coach Jeff Hornacek something he didn't have last season: An inside presence.
Don't think that the Pistons are going to simply let Monroe go without a fight. New head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy talked about the organization's desire to maintain Monroe. Per Ashley Dunkak of CBS Detroit, Van Gundy said:
[We] tried to make a very strong case for ourselves and for our organization. I think that we’ve tried to make him understand what we’re trying to do and why we think he’s an important part of it, but again, he’s got some decisions to make, too.
Monroe is talented, but he's not a difference-maker. Teams may be overvaluing him because of the shortage of good big men. If you look at the players who were with Monroe in Detroit (Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings), you'd think a player who was worth a max contract would have been able to at least guide his team to the playoffs in the woeful Eastern Conference.
Nevertheless, Monroe is going to get paid. It's just a matter of when and what team will be footing the bill.
Klay Thompson Wants to Get Paid
All the talk surrounding potential Kevin Love deals seems to be centered around whether the Minnesota Timberwolves star is willing to re-sign with the team he's traded to.
If the Wolves choose to trade Love to the Golden State Warriors for a package that includes Klay Thompson, they may have to worry about how much Thompson is looking to make in his next deal.
Because Thompson is a little younger, a deal with him should be a little easier to swallow. Sam Amick of USA Today says:
Thompson's agent, Bill Duffy, has been seeking a max deal in extension talks with the Warriors as well. And while Golden State would surely prefer that the stance eventually softens and leads to a more palatable deal, the fact that he is younger means a max for Thompson would start at $15.7 million and still allow for more flexibility in the Warriors future than a Love deal.
Thompson is one of the best young wing players in the NBA. He's likely as good as he'll be, but that's plenty good. Last season, Thompson averaged 18.4 points per game while knocking down just under 42 percent of his threes.
With a team with less scorers, Thompson could average 20-plus points easily. It's hard to argue with the 24-year-old deserving a big deal.
Utah Jazz Interested in Toure' Murry
In limited playing time last season, Toure' Murry was impressive for the New York Knicks. He proved himself to be a solid perimeter defender and solid three-point shooter. In just 7.3 minutes per game, Murry averaged on 2.7 points, but he did shoot just under 42 percent from three-point range.
That was apparently enough to spark the interest of the Utah Jazz. Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune tweeted:
Looking to round out roster, a possible FA target, per Jazz source, is G/F Toure' Murry. But sounds like Murry is waiting on Miami first.— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) July 20, 2014
At this point, most teams are simply looking for role players who can give their teams solid minutes off the bench. That's exactly what Murry could do for the Jazz.
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