Restricted free-agent Greg Monroe is expected to attract major attention in summer free-agency, with the Atlanta Hawks expected to perhaps show the most interest in the 23-year-old vet.
Fresh off their surprise playoff showing where they forced the Eastern Conference top-seeded Indiana Pacers to seven games, the Hawks are rumored to hold Monroe in high regard, with management even convinced he could be the missing piece needed to help catapult the young core of Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Mike Scott to the next level.
The 6-foot-11, 250 pound Monroe averaged 15 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons last season, numbers comparable to his four-year career averages of 14 points and nine rebounds. Along with 20-year-old center Andre Drummond, Monroe’s long term future was once unquestionably thought to be in Detroit, but with the team now in flux following GM Joe Dumars recent resignation and the midseason firing of rookie coach Maurice Cheeks nothing seems etched in stone any more.
At 14 points and 13 rebounds, Drummond averaged a double-double this season and was even more dominant in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game during All-Star Game weekend in New Orleans, finishing with 30 points and 25 rebounds to claim MVP honors.
As for Monroe, increasing the Hawks chances of perhaps being players for his services is his agent, David Falk, close ties with Atlanta general manager and former high-profile client Danny Ferry, now in his second full year of running the Hawk’s front office.
Not that they solicited it, but the Pistons also entertained offers for Monroe around the February trade deadline, but were never moved enough to seriously consider any of the overtures that came their way.
But with Monroe now set to be a free agent, the thinking around the league seems if the Hawks or perhaps any other teams are willing to make Monroe an overly-lucrative offer he could be theirs for the asking.