The Detroit Pistons signing Josh Smith last year ended up resulting in a messy mix-up with the team’s other big men, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
It doesn’t look like all three will be able to co-exist. Drummond is the future, so they will have to decide between the likes of Smith and Monroe. Monroe will be a restricted free agent this offseason, while Smith can sometimes be a headcase for the team.
For Monroe, he would prefer for Smith to be traded by the Pistons.
Multiple sources say Monroe’s camp has made it known Monroe will sign the one-year qualifying offer if Smith remains on the roster. Monroe’s camp denies that, and that kind of empty threat is not atypical from top restricted free agents. It’s really their only form of leverage.
It could just be a power play by Monroe, similar to what Kyrie Irving did to get a max deal from the Cleveland Cavaliers recently. But Monroe is not likely to have as much leverage as Irving does.
Monroe’s qualifying offer is only a little over $5 million and he could be losing out on getting a max or close-to-max deal from the Pistons, Pro Basketball Talk writes. Why risk that just because he doesn’t like playing with Josh Smith?
It will be very interesting to see how the Pistons address the Monroe situation this free agency period.