The Los Angeles Lakers will try to be major players in NBA free agency this summer with the team determined to right the ship sooner rather than later.
One player that has intrigued the team, along with Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo, is Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers contacted the Pistons earlier in the season about potentially making a trade for Monroe and Brandon Jennings, but Detroit wasn’t interested.
With the NBA trade deadline approaching, the Pistons trading Monroe before Feb. 19 seemed like a potential scenario if they believed he’d leave in free agency in July. Now it appears Detroit will roll the dice with Monroe with Stan Van Gundy saying the following, according to Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News:
“It’s not gonna happen,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “I don’t know where Greg’s head will be in the offseason, but we’re still hopeful of Greg Monroe for the long term. And with him going into free agency, you won’t get a lot, maybe a pick. I’m not gonna walk in that locker room and give up a piece like that and then tell the guys we’re trying to make the playoffs. They deserve the chance to ride this out. You never say never to anything, but I can tell you about 99.9 percent, Greg Monroe’s not going anywhere.”
Obviously, Van Gundy is confident the Pistons will be able to re-sign him this summer. Detroit started to turn the corner this season after parting ways with Josh Smith and Jennings seemingly reinventing himself under Van Gundy before going down with an Achilles tear.
With that being said, Monroe might be intrigued at the prospect of building in Detroit with Van Gundy calling the shots. Jennings’ recent Achilles injury is a concern, but the Pistons might be able to turn things around in the near future.
As for the Lakers, it’s safe to say the team will pursue Monroe in free agency along with other free agents like Dragic, Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol. Los Angeles will try to make moves with Monroe potentially in the team’s crosshairs.[divide]