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With Stan Van Gundy now the man in Detroit, it has been widely speculated that center Greg Monroe will be on his way out.
Monroe is a restricted free agent this summer, and Van Gundy is believed to view Andre Drummond — not Monroe — as his big man of the future.
A number of teams have been mentioned as potential suitors, and now the New Orleans Pelicans can be added to the list.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Pelicans may have interest in signing the 24-year-old New Orleans native when free agency begins. The team needs to upgrade at the center position and could try to hammer out a sign-and-trade deal.
Among those teams could be the New Orleans Pelicans, who will enter the free agency period in search of upgrading their center and small forward positions.
While the Pelicans, with about $7 million in salary cap room, don’t appear to have enough cap space to sign Monroe, a source said the team has made some initial inquiries to the Pistons about the possibility of working out a sign-and-trade deal.
After Van Gundy was hired by the Detroit Pistons to be the head coach and head of basketball operations, reports indicated the team would be willing to let another team sign Monroe to an offer sheet this summer. The Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, and Los Angeles Lakers were among the teams mentioned to be targeting the center.
The Wizards showed interest in trading for Monroe in February around the NBA trading deadline.
The Times-Picayune also mentions the Dallas Mavericks, Charlotte Hornets, and defending champion San Antonio Spurs as other possible suitors.
However, Van Gundy has offered support of Monroe, saying he envisions him and Drummond playing side by side next season. Because he is a restricted free agent, Detroit can match any offer Monroe receives on the open market. But if the team were to work out a sign-and-trade, they could receive value in allowing the center to leave and break up a front court that struggled mightily last season.
Among the candidates that could be included in a package to acquire Monroe are Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, or Ryan Anderson. Holiday and Evans were acquired last offseason and figure to stay put. Gordon is seemingly the most likely to get shipped out of town.
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