After failing to make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers have reloaded through the NBA Draft with Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown. With a projected $24 million in cap space should they decline Jordan Hill’s team option, general manager Mitch Kupchak will be pursuing frontcourt players.
While all the attention has been on LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Love, Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons is set to become a free agent as well. After taking the qualifying offer last summer to become an unrestricted free agent, Lakers will be among the five teams to meet with Monroe according to Darrell Williams of The Advocate:
Five teams have shown serious interest — the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. Monroe said he’ll meet with those teams this week.
With Monroe not expected to return to the Pistons, the 25-year-old is looking for a team that is ready to win and hopes to be the missing piece:
“I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece.”
During the NBA Finals where the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, head coach Stan Van Gundy made an unexpected move by trading for Ersan İlyasova. With a stretch-four to play alongside Andre Drummound, the trade signaled his end in Detroit.
While the Lakers are preparing a four-year, $80 million contract offer for Aldridge, Monroe is an intriguing option should the All-Star forward sign elsewhere.
In 69 games this past season, Monroe averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds.