The NBA trade deadline is just a month away, but the Washington Wizards have already expressed interest in acquiring Detroit Pistons big man, Greg Monroe. According to Basketball Insiders, the Wizards are planning on pursuing Monroe either through trade or free agency:
One team is interested in Monroe is the Washington Wizards, according to multiple league sources. It’s becoming clear that Washington is planning to pursue in Monroe, either through trade or free agency.
Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat both have expiring contracts, making room for another max contract player on Washington’s roster. The Pistons signed Josh Smith through free agency this past off-season and the two forwards haven’t played well together. Monroe is still on his first contract, making it possible for the Wizards to trade a young piece in order to acquire him. Bradley Beal has been in trade talks before, most notably for James Harden and Rudy Gay, but the team has made it clear that he’s an untouchable player at this point. John Wall and Bradley Beal are the second highest scoring backcourt in the NBA and the Wizards have no plans on moving either player.
If I were to guess, Washington would likely make rookie Otto Porter available in a trade. Josh Smith is currently the starting small forward in Detroit, but if Monroe gets traded, he’d be able to move back to his natural power forward position. Detroit has struggled to adjust to their new talent, so I honestly believe they’d be interested in acquiring Porter for Monroe.
Washington traded their first round pick (top 12 protected) for Marcin Gortat, and you have to believe that would’ve been appealing to the Pistons. Even though the Wizards have already traded away multiple assets, they still have some flexibility.
We’ll see if they have enough to acquire Greg Monroe, but I think they’ll likely end up pursuing him in the off-season. Washington has room for another max contract player, but the Pistons could potentially match any offer sheet Monroe signs. The former Georgetown Hoya is averaging just over 14 points and about 9 rebounds per game, and it’s clear that he’d benefit from playing with guards like John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Monroe is a terrific young big man and I think he’d fit in well with the current core in Washington. We’ll see if anything happens.