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Report: Pistons, Greg Monroe discussions at standstill

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Greg Monroe and the Pistons are in an awkward situation.  (USATSI)
Greg Monroe and the Pistons are in an awkward situation. (USATSI)

Offseason: Free Agency | Latest from Ken Berger | Rumors

Detroit Pistons restricted free agent Greg Monroe is still on the market, and nothing seems to be happening with his status, via the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis:

The Pistons have moved from the initial five-year, $60-million offer and an offer that's slightly better than the four-year, $54-million deal that Josh Smith signed last summer is on the table.

But the offer to make him the highest paid player on the roster hasn't brokered an agreement. And negotiations aren't ongoing.

The impasse could last into next month unless a sudden sign-and-trade materializes. There were discussions with the Blazers early in the process and Yahoo! Sports reported recently that brief discussions with Suns and Hawks didn't gain traction. That's probably because the Pistons are placing a premium on Monroe that teams so far have proven unwilling to pay.

The threat is still there for Monroe to sign the $5.4 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season. That's not expected, but the deadline is Oct. 1.

As CBSSports.com's Matt Moore explored in detail, Monroe and the Pistons are in an awkward position. He's proven to be a productive player at the power forward position, but as long as Josh Smith and Andre Drummond are both around, the fit is a problem. Detroit doesn't want to lose him for nothing, and the threat of matching means there's little incentive for other teams to give him a huge offer sheet.

Mind you, if the Pistons are offering upwards of $13 million per season, is that really so unfair? It's not the four years and $63 million that Gordon Hayward wound up getting, a fact that might not sit well with Monroe, but it might not be drastically different from what he would have received on the open market. The NBA has changed, with floor spacing and rim protection more important than ever. Monroe, as talented as he is, complicates things for your team in both areas. It's hard to fault Detroit for not wanting to increase its offer.

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