Almost every notable 2014 NBA free agent has been signed at this point, but teams still need to fill out their rosters.
Adding that ninth or 10th guy may not make the headlines that signing LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony did, but it will still be an important move when the superstars need some rest before the playoffs. Just look at the San Antonio Spurs last season—everyone had a role.
While most teams are simply trying to sign those additional pieces now, the Detroit Pistons are still stuck in negotiations with one of their main cogs.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest rumors from Detroit and around the Association.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports filled fans in on the latest regarding Chris Singleton:
Singleton was a first-round pick in 2011 and actually started 51 games as a rookie. However, his playing time has decreased every season since he’s been in the league, and he only appeared in 25 games for the Washington Wizards in 2013-14 without a single start. Singleton averaged three points and 2.2 rebounds a night in those 25 games.
The thought here is that the Indiana Pacers find some room on the roster for him if he impresses in workouts.
There was a report earlier in the offseason that the Pacers were interested in Singleton, and they certainly need some depth at forward. Singleton can play either small or power forward at 6’9”, which would help a team that lost Lance Stephenson to Charlotte and Paul George to injury. What’s more, David West will be 34 years old this season.
With Singleton on the team, the Pacers would have an experienced forward who could give West the occasional breather. There will be a lot of pressure on West’s shoulders this season without Indiana's other main pieces from last year, so limiting the veteran's minutes early could prove to be effective.
Prediction: Singleton to the Pacers.
David Pick of Eurobasket.com provided an update on E’Twaun Moore and the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Moore played in 79 games for the Orlando Magic last year and averaged 6.3 points a night behind 35.4 percent shooting from three-point range. Seemingly everyone who has ever touched a basketball has been connected to the Cavaliers at one point or another this offseason, so it’s somewhat surprising to see Moore on top of their list.
He certainly isn’t the household name that a Ray Allen or a Chauncey Billups is for NBA fans.
Still, Moore is a solid ball-handler who can shoot from behind the arc. Yes, Allen and Billups are both excellent shooters, but Moore is only 25 years old. The Cavs have their eyes on an NBA title run, and Moore’s legs would theoretically be much fresher heading into the postseason than those of Allen or Billups.
Cleveland is looking to round out its roster, and it’s hard to argue with the report that Moore is on top of its list. Nobody ever said surrounding James with yet another shooter was a bad idea.
Prediction: Moore to the Cavs.
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press had an update on Greg Monroe:
Here we are less than two months away from the start of training camp and despite a full-court sales pitch, Monroe hasn’t signed his name to a contract…It’s no secret that Monroe wouldn’t mind a change of scenery and wants a max contract.
Teams around the league just don’t view Monroe as worthy of a max offer sheet—especially with the perceived notion that the Pistons would just match.
There is another interesting subplot here, since it was assumed and reported that the Detroit Pistons offered Monroe a five-year, $60 million deal. Monroe took to Twitter to deny that:
There is clearly some friction, but the prediction here is that the two parties eventually make the money work.
From Detroit’s point of view, Monroe is only 24 years old and a legitimate double-double threat every time he steps on the floor. He and Andre Drummond could form a power duo on the blocks in the Eastern Conference for years to come, and new coach Stan Van Gundy has said publicly throughout the offseason that Monroe is a priority.
Even if the Pistons have to overpay a bit, a Monroe and Drummond combination represents their most realistic chance to reach the postseason in the near future.
From Monroe’s perspective, there aren’t really any better offers just sitting on the table at this point. With teams reportedly scared off by Detroit’s ability to match and the fact that it is already mid-August, it’s hard to envision a max contract in his near future. If another team was going to offer Monroe the max, it probably would have already happened.
That doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much on his NBA goodwill trip to Africa, as he told Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated:
I'm heading back Saturday. We're still trying to sort things out. I'm really not sure what is going to happen, I've just enjoyed my time here, and it's been nice to get away and do something positive with my time.
Eventually, he will sort things out with Detroit. He is too talented for the Pistons to give up, and his options are somewhat limited.
Prediction: Monroe stays in Detroit
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