Before baseless speculation and rumor-mongering begins, let's be clear about this: The Detroit Pistons are not actively shopping Greg Monroe, a 6-11 post player in his fourth season. But given the rarity of quality big men in NBA, Monroe, who is in a contract year, will be in demand. What team wouldn't inquire about his availability?
The trade deadline is a month away, and despite all the hype that surrounds it there aren't a lot of legitimate offers and deals made. Take a look at the rules governing trades under the collective bargaining agreement and you'll see why.
Monroe, who attended college at Georgetown, isn't in sync playing with Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, Detroit's major free-agent acquisitions from last summer. He's averaging 14.2 points and 8.7 rebounds, but his 11.3 shots per game is his lowest since his rookie season. In his last five games, Monroe is averaging just 7.2 attempts and hasn't scored double figures in three of them.
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He told Vince Goodwill of the Detroit News that the uncertainty and trade talk has been bothered him.
“It does, to be honest. We’re still trying to get things right, here,” Monroe told Goodwill. “To see that stuff … I just focus on what we’re doing here. I’m here. If that changes, then I’ll move forward. If it never does, I’ll focus on playing these game and trying to win these games.”
So has the lack of touches on offense:
“That’s probably been the main thing,” Monroe said. “I kind of need the ball to get a rhythm. That’s how I’ve always been. It’s tough, especially when guys have it going. It’s a rough area for me, really.”
And there's the rub. To get maximum value for a player, a team needs him to be playing at a high level. Right now, with Monroe's struggles, that's not happening and it makes such a deal -- even if they were interested in making one -- more complicated.
The Pistons are 17-26 going into Sunday night's game at the Dallas Mavericks and have a losing record at home. But it's the Eastern Conference, so there's always hope.