Van Gundy sounds committed to Greg Monroe

Van Gundy sounds committed to Greg Monroe
June 2, 2014, 11:30 am
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First things first: Greg Monroe isn't really an option. He's a restricted free agent, meaning the Detroit Pistons have the first right of refusal. Bringing in quality restricted players usually results in spending more than a team actually wants to pay which makes little sense for the Wizards who already have a bird in hand with Marcin Gortat though he's unrestricted. 

Now this from the Pistons and their new boss Stan Van Gundy, who will be president and coach, on retaining Monroe to twin with Andre Drummond in the low post in an interview the team's website: “I think it is an ideal pairing. If I look at just the film I’ve watched now and looking at the numbers, you would say that Greg and Andre together were great offensively. That was a great combination on the offensive end of the floor, especially when the three guys around them were shooters — more conventional perimeter types. That worked very, very well. Now, it didn’t work very well defensively. I think it puts a lot of responsibility on Greg Monroe to have to guard out on the perimeter.

“But I think there are things we can do in terms of schemes and things that would make it a little easier on Greg to make that unit better defensively and then take advantage of the offensive end of the floor. In the things we’ve studied — when you look at our three frontline guys, there’s your strength — but when you study it, when you play two of those three guys together, the Pistons were a very good team, at least last year. When you played all three of them together, they really struggled.”

Monroe as a replacement for Gortat, the Wizards' unrestricted free-agent center, doesn't make a lot of sense anyway. Nene occupies the power forward spot and is due $26 million for the next two seasons. Nene also is a better defender, though his health always will ben an issue and he'll be 32 next season. If getting Monroe at a cut rate would be the trade off, then maybe that's a risk worth taking but that's clearly not going to happen. Monroe wants the max. The Wizards already have one max player in John Wall and by collective bargaining association rules only can have one more under contract simultaneously. That could be used for Bradley Beal, who is eligible for an extension after he completes the 2014-15 season. Maybe that max deal is used for someone else better who comes available next summer. 

[MORE: Temple would love to be back with Wizards]

Detroit's dysfunction isn't all Monroe's fault, though his presence hasn't produced a team with more than 30 wins in four NBA seasons. That team has good pieces but they just don't fit. But the fact is they just won 29 games together this season vs. the Wizards' 44 with Gortat and Nene. 

As ProBasketballTalk points out, Monroe and Drummond gave up 110.2 points per 100 possessions when on the court together. If Van Gundy can figure out that, he'll be worth the $35 million he's being paid for the next five years.