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In Monday’s NBA PM we took a look at the bleak trade landscape for Monroe and the reasoning behind it under the assumption that he was eager to change sceneries. It’s no surprise, though, that he and Van Gundy publicly dismissed the report because that is simply how business works in today’s NBA. It’s hard to imagine, especially after virtually being held hostage by the Pistons in free agency, that he wouldn’t be open to the prospect of a trade. However, coming right out and saying so would cause a lot of unnecessary issues and really deter the Pistons’ attempts to trade him.
The ultimate test will come if the Pistons approach Monroe about waiving his no-trade clause. At this point, a break up seems like an utter certainty. Monroe is going to sign with the highest bidder this offseason, and the Pistons are unlikely to be that team based off of their inability to negotiate a deal with him this offseason. Monroe is still good for the 15 and nine he has been the last four years, but the team is one of the worst in the league and they just can’t afford to pay Monroe what it would take to keep him when he’s such a poor fit with the roster currently in place.
Evans is quietly putting up monster numbers this season, averaging 16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists. Those are All-Star numbers, so the Pelicans are wise to keep him off of the block, because with a de-escalating contract at $11.2 million this year that runs through 2017 when he’ll be paid $10.2 million, he actually has one of the better long-term contracts out there.
There is an opposite side of the spectrum that you can interpret this news from. This simply could be the Pelicans posturing in hopes of improving the offers that are out there for Evans. Their cap situation really prohibits them being able to make a major splash in another way, so if an offer that makes them a better, or more importantly deeper team, don’t rule out the possibility of the Pelicans re-considering their stance.
The Bucks will be collectively holding their breath as they await the results of Parker’s testing. He’s currently the leader in the race for the Rookie of the Year thanks to being a vital part of the Bucks’ shocking resurgence. Parker’s production may not be difficult to replace by committee, but he’s gaining valuable experience right now while being groomed to become the team’s top option in time. He was playing some of his best basketball as of late.
In his absence, look for the Bucks to rely more on Jared Dudley, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
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