Greg Monroe is seeking a two-deal year plus a player option as an unrestricted free agent this summer, the five-year Detroit Pistons big man told the Baton Rouge Advocate. Expected to pick a new team with several meetings already scheduled, Monroe is ready to begin the next chapter of his NBA career.
"I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win," Monroe said to The Advocate. "Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece."
The 25-year-old has already received interest from five teams -- the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers -- and he plans to meet with them after free agency opens Wednesday. A native of New Orleans, Monroe also said that he would love to play with Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, though it's not clear whether the team wants to pursue that.
A five-year stint with Detroit appears to over, considering Monroe didn't even mention the team as an interested party. The big man took a one-year qualifying offer last summer rather than sign an extension and said the Pistons' system under Stan Van Gundy was built for Andre Drummond, not him.
"Stan had smaller teams in Orlando years ago," Monroe said. "Dre is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted."
Even if the final couple years of Monroe's career with the Pistons didn't go according to plan, he enters the open market as one of the most talented players available. Still just 25 years old and coming off a season in which he averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, Monroe should be an intriguing addition somewhere.
David West to meet with Knicks
The Knicks will meet with free agent big man David West, ESPN's Marc Stein reports. The longtime forward will reportedly be a "serious name" on their board once free agency opens on July 1, along with Monroe, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarre Carroll.
West declined a $12.6 million player option for the 2015-16 season with the Indiana Pacers in order to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The report says it's unclear what West's contract demands will be but New York will have at least $26 million in cap space.
Another question is how much West has in the tank at 34 years old. The big man is coming off a season in which he averaged just 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game -- his lowest numbers since 2005 -- and may finally be in the decline phase of his career.
The Knicks have said they want more leadership and West could definitely help there, so he could make some sense for them even if he's not the same guy who averaged 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds just two years ago.
Danny Green might leaveexecutives 'fear'
The San Antonio Spurs may not be worried about retaining Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili, but "if there's a fear among Spurs executives, it's that they won't have enough room left to retain Danny Green," according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
The Dallas Mavericks, Pistons and Trail Blazers have shown interest in signing Green as a free agent this summer, Berger said, and that could price Green out of the Spurs' range. Retaining Leonard won't be cheap and even if Duncan and Ginobili take discounts, that still may not be enough for the team to fit a multi-year deal for Green.
Green, 28, set career-highs in several categories with the Spurs in 2014-15, including points (11.7), rebounds (4.2) and assists per game (2.0). He also starred for the team during its playoff runs in 2013 and 2014, using his potent three-point shooting to put up a number of big scoring performances. With a premium on shooting across the league, it's not surprising that there's lots of interest in Green, who has shot 42 percent from three during his career.
to be 'proactive' with Knight, could offer $70 million
The Phoenix Suns plan to be "proactive" in trying to re-sign point guard Brandon Knight to a new deal this summer, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports. The 23-year-old is a restricted free agent this summer and will likely draw lucrative offers from other teams if he doesn't agree to a contract extension with Phoenix, though the team will have the right to match.
A year after signing guard Eric Bledsoe to a five-year, $70 million deal, the Suns could apply a similar framework to Knight's contract. The Suns gave up a first-round pick to acquire the guard last season and general manager Ryan McDonough said he's going to be a top priority for the team.
"He's certainly one of our top priorities, if not the top priority. We want a quick process with all of our guys, him included," McDonough said. "We've got good vibes from him about his time in Phoenix. I imagine he will be one of the first guys we call, if not the first."
It won't be cheap to sign Knight after his breakout over the past couple seasons, and Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times says the Suns will indeed offer him the same deal Bledsoe received. That would be a major investment, but Phoenix appears to like its current backcourt duo in Bledsoe and Knight.
Kevin Garnett will 'definitely' return next season
Kevin Garnett will "definitely" re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 21st NBA season, Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press reports. Walters also said that team president Flip Saunders will return as the team's head coach for the 2015-16 season.
Garnett, 39, was acquired by the Timberwolves last season in order to finish his career where he started it. The future Hall of Famer has been playing since the 1995-96 season, when he was 19 years old, but will come back for what could be a farewell campaign.
The Timberwolves likely won't expect much on the court from Garnett next season, instead letting him play a minor role while mentoring the team's young stars, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. It'll be interesting to watch the notoriously competitive Garnett play for a likely bottom feeder, but he'll be ending his career in Minnesota as it enters a bright future.
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