One of the more intriguing free agent options this past summer was Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe, who was a restricted free agent. Many believed that Monroe wanted to leave Detroit, but fears of an offer being matched led to Monroe signing the qualifying offer.
There were a number of teams who were interested in Monroe, but according to Shams Charania of Real GM, the Lakers were not one of those teams:
Despite speculation in top markets of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, neither were an interested party when Monroe sought offer sheets, sources said.
The Lakers seemed to have a ‘big name or bust’ mentality this off-season as once the team failed to land Carmelo Anthony, they seemed content to let the second-tier free agents pass by and instead save their money for this upcoming summer.
While some may compare this to the team electing not to pursue point guard Isaiah Thomas, who has admitted wanting to come to the Lakers, this is a little different because of Monroe’s restricted status forcing a team to overpay to get him out of Detroit — something the Lakers were likely not interested in doing.
With Monroe unrestricted this upcoming off-season, he could indeed be a major target for the team, and is one of the more feasible options. The chances of getting Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge out of their respective situations is slim, but Monroe is dying to get out of Detroit. Monroe is a talented big whom the Lakers would be wise to focus on when they have the chance.[divide]
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