March 12, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The Detroit Pistons are preparing Greg Monroe to play power forward for the upcoming season with plans of one of their two new center acquisitions -- Andre Drummond or Slava Kravtsov -- are able to start at center.
Greg Monroe started at center alongside Jason Maxiell in the Detroit Pistons' frontcourt last season, but the big man might have to shuffle over to the power forward spot this season following the acquisition of Andre Drummond through the draft and Slava Kravtsov through free agency.
The former Georgetown big man is OK with that, too, according to a recent interview he did with the Pistons website.
"They basically said I need to be prepared to play power forward," Monroe told me after a lengthy workout Monday at the team's practice facility. "They're looking for at least one of those guys to be ready, so I've started to prepare myself to be ready to play the four. We've been working on stuff to have me in those positions."
If Drummond or Kravtsov -- both true 7-footers and therefore about an inch taller than Monroe -- are indeed ready to be inserted into the starting lineup in their first NBA season, it'd allow the Pistons to play with one of the biggest front lines in the league. With that, however, it'll also force Monroe to move to a slightly different position ... though the changes will be more defensively based, as he understands.
"It's very OK with me," he said. "With us there's not that much of a difference, anyway. I'm not really worried about the transition. I've been playing power forward and center all my life, so I'm comfortable with playing either. I'm comfortable with the ball in the mid-post and at the elbow. Defensively, maybe that would be the only thing - guarding different types of players. I would have to scout more, learn the guys' tendencies. It would be different footwork, moving your feet more.
The Pistons.com story mentions that Monroe has traveled all over the states this summer in preparation for the change -- training with the renowned Tim Grgurich, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love and even practicing with the team's Summer League squad -- so, if nothing else, he should be ready for the change.
Now the NBA world will just have to be ready for the difficult matchups the Pistons can provide with two near-7-footers starting in the front court.