NBA Rumors: Latest on Greg Monroe, Eric Bledsoe and More

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIAugust 15, 2014

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) laughs after talking with referee Sean Corbin, left, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The Suns won 127-120. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Gone are the days of keeping your eyes glued to various social media sites. NBA free agency has dwindled down, but there are still a few quality free agents available who have yet to make a decision about the upcoming season.

There's plenty of time for the remaining free agents to decide, but the quicker the better. Training camps and practices will be upon us faster than we think, meaning that it's time for teams to start gearing up for the grind of another season. It's sometimes hard to integrate new players after training camp has already begun.

Below you'll find the latest rumors on three players who will certainly impact the way their teams play next season.


Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe was one of the better big men in the league last season. He averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per night for the Detroit Pistons and as a restricted free agent was hoping for a nice contract this offseason.

The right one still hasn't come along.

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News reported a scenario that would make Monroe a free agent yet again next offseason:

While the Pistons big man has not pursued an offer sheet from another team, he has pursued sign-and-trade possibilities, and Monroe is “definitely” willing to take the one-year qualifying offer worth $5.3 million from Detroit in order to ensure his unrestricted free agency next summer, a source familiar with Monroe’s thinking told The Detroit News.

The qualifying offer is still a nice salary for a player who made just over $4 million last season, but it's far from the type of raise Monroe was hoping for. As an unrestricted free agent next year, the 24-year-old would put himself in line for a big contract.

A qualifying offer does put Monroe in the driver's seat for next season. He has the right to veto any trade next year should he sign the offer, giving him the ability to possibly negotiate a long-term contract with the team looking to trade for him.

Monroe is a solid player deserving of a well-paying contract. He'll get that contract within the next 12 months.


Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe is in a very similar situation to that of Monroe.

The Phoenix Suns and Bledsoe have yet to agree on a contract with training camp less than two months away. USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reported Bledsoe's latest intentions: 

The relationship between the two sides has soured, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

The person also said Bledsoe, 24, strongly is considering signing the Suns' qualifying offer for $3.726 million — good for the 2014-15 season — to become an unrestricted free agent after next summer.

While Bledsoe's demands have been high, some believe the blame lies with his agent:

Like Monroe, Bledsoe is deserving of a lofty contract. He broke out in a big way for the Suns last season, averaging 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per night. He did play in just 43 games, however.

Bledsoe and Goran Dragic formed one of the better backcourts in the NBA last season. Keeping both around long-term would be a huge financial commitment, though, so it's not unreasonable for the Suns to refrain from giving Bledsoe a big contract.

Look for him to hold all the cards this season in hopes of inking a big deal next offseason.


Chauncey Billups

With depth now the primary concern for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling reports that the team is considering 37-year-old Chauncey Billups:

Billups has bounced around a bit over the last four seasons but has a chance to win a title in Cleveland before calling it quits. However, the point guard wouldn't be strictly bench depth on this Cavs team since he still has a ton to offer, as evidenced by his career three-point percentage of 38.7.

Cleveland really is the best option for him. Aside from his relationship with Tyronn Lue, Billups is a proven winner. Pairing proven winners with LeBron James is never a bad idea.

Billups will receive plenty of open looks along the perimeter given James' ability to drive and draw double-teams. While Billups doesn't have much left in the tank, he has enough for one final run at the NBA Finals.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR