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The Washington Wizards have interest in Detroit Pistons forward/center Greg Monroe, according to Basketball Insiders’ latest NBA trade rumors.
Monroe plays the same position as the Pistons’ big offseason addition, power forward Josh Smith, and former draft pick Andre Drummond, meaning he is certainly expendable, especially if he can bring in a perimeter player like Detroit needs.
According to the report, whether it’s via trade or a signing come offseason, the Wiz have their eyes set on Monroe.
Monroe, 23, is a restricted free agent this summer, and given the addition of Smith it seems unlikely the Pistons will extend an offer — at least an offer he is seeking — making him a valuable trade piece leading up to the Feb. 20 deadline. However, because he is a restricted free agent, Detroit would be able to match any offer he receives.
At 17-24 and losers of 10 of their past 14 contests, and after an offseason that included the signing of Smith, Chauncey Billups, and Brandon Jennings, the disappointing Pistons may be forced to shake up their personnel a bit in order to get a spark.
Washington has two valuable contracts to send out of the nation’s capital in the form of Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat. Both are impending free agents, making them highly desired on the trade market, but should they remain with the Wizards until season’s end, could help clear cap space off the books for Washington to go after Monroe. Currently, the team is only committed to $41,458,760 for the 2014-15 season.
Basketball Insiders mentions Otto Porter and Martell Webster as likely players to be included in a deal as well.
Monroe is averaging 16 points and 9.6 rebounds in his fourth season with the team, and in his career has averaged 14.4 points per game and a shooting percentage of better than 50 percent. In addition, he played his collegiate basketball with Georgetown, which shares the Verizon Center as its venue with the Wizards.
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