Rockets News

Houston Rockets Should Target Pistons’ RFA Greg Monroe

By Brett David Roberts

Mar 1, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe (10) controls the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, and he could be the answer for the Houston Rockets.  Will the Pistons match any offer for Monroe, though?

Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, and the Pistons may be a team in transition, shaped by new head coach and GM Stan Van Gundy.

The frontcourt trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond was not overwhelming last season as Joe Dumars had hoped it would be. Dumars eventually retired as GM, and Van Gundy has been left with the mess. While the Pistons are fully committed to Drummond, the futures of Smith and Monroe are far more dicey.

The Rockets still have between $12 to $16 million to spend, and that contract could be enough to obtain Monroe. Last season, the Georgetown product posted 16.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, while starting all 82 games for the Pistons. He’s not much of a rim protector and has never averaged more than a block per game in his career.

But his offensive game would be an absolute upgrade over Terrence Jones, who is currently pencilled in at the 4-spot. Additionally, Monroe has shown great promise as a high post passer, and he averaged 3.8 assists per game in 2012-13. Able to facilitate wing looks and a high/low game with Dwight Howard, Monroe could give help the Rockets sophisticate its offense a good bit.

Monroe is just 24, and signing him could solidify the position for many years to come.

Apr 16, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets are in need of a big body, after losing Omer Asik in a cap clearing move, and also having released Greg Smith at the end of last season. Donatas Motiejunas still seems to be more of a liability given his defensive ineptitude and inconsistent shooting.

While missing Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol was a critical blow, obtaining Monroe could prove to be even more rewarding in the long-term. He’s not unpolished by any stretch of the imagination, and he’s still years away from reaching his prime.

Monroe’s health record is also a huge plus, given that he has missed just three games in his entire professional career. With Dwight Howard’s back, Monroe would be able to fill in should D12 go on the shelf for any period of time.

There is a chance the Pistons simply match any offer for Monroe, but no one really has a read on how Van Gundy feels about each Pistons player at this point. He’s certain to leave his stamp on the roster, but what that means with regard to the futures of Josh Smith and Monroe is anyone’s guess.