The Detroit Pistons have found significant success during the past few years on draft day. They picked up two skillful centers, one of them, Andre Drummond, can be considered as a big steal. Drummond and Greg Monroe could both be the centerpieces of the Pistons as the team goes forward. Nonetheless, after the moves the team performed during the summer and mostly due to the acquisition of Josh Smith, now it might be inevitable for Detroit to ship Monroe away.
The General Manager of the team, Joe Dumars, made some controversial moves. Of course, he was the reason behind the Pistons’ superb pick of Andre Drummond. It was a real surprise that Drummond was available at the No.9 overall spot and he has proven to the NBA world that he should have been picked way before. In fact, lots of analysts rank the youngster big man in the top three of the 2012 class, along with Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis. No team around the NBA has many chances to draft a franchise big men through the draft and not only that, but to select him as low as the No.9 spot.
Nonetheless, Dumars was also the reason why the Pistons signed Josh Smith this summer, agreeing to offer him a fat contract. Detroit offered Smith a four-year contract while his annual payments will be $14 million. Smith is clearly overpaid and on top of that, this three big-men frontcourt has not been working out for the team at all. Smith, Drummond and Monroe can’t work together in the lineup, because they all play mostly close to the basket, in the paint.
That’s the reason why the Detroit Pistons will now have to waste the terrific pick they made through the draft, in Greg Monroe. The 23-year old emerging center will have to be traded away sooner than later. In fact, the Pistons will have to move him by the February 20 trade deadline. That’s because Monroe will be a restricted free-agent this summer and it will be difficult for the Pistons to match any qualifying offer that is thrown on the table.
Trading Greg Monroe seems like the most rational option for the team at the moment. The Pistons will have to switch Josh Smith to the power forward spot, where he has found the most success up to now in his career and at the same time seek for a strong perimeter player as the exchange for Monroe.
Detroit needs a capable small forward, with three-point shooting skills so that the team can space the floor. That will allow Smith and Drummond more room to operate inside.
There is always the alternative of trading away Josh Smith. Nonetheless, the Pistons will have major difficulties finding a team to deal him to. Smith’s big contract and the fact that he is not as young as Monroe, would mean that the team would have to settle for a much less valuable exchange than if they traded Monroe away.