With the hiring of Stan Van Gundy, the writing may be on the wall for Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe. Monroe is a restricted free-agent this summer and a potential Lakers target. With Van Gundy’s approach in Orlando featuring a big man and stretch four – Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis – it’s likely they’ll use Andre Drummond and Josh Smith in the same roles. That leaves Monroe on the outside looking in, and according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the Lakers may be one of the teams targeting him.
The Lakers are the other team most frequently mentioned among league executives when it comes to Monroe. If L.A. does not make any splashy moves around the draft, and if the Lakers are ready to concede that Carmelo Anthony is not coming, then they figure to target young, second-tier free agents—and Monroe is at the head of that list.
Monroe is a solid big man who, at just 23 years of age, could be a cornerstone for the Lakers rebuilding efforts. If the Lakers do not, in fact, make a blockbuster trade with their pick, pairing Monroe and another draftee would be a great move for the future. However, signing Monroe would almost certainly mean that Pau Gasol would not be coming back, but that’s a conclusion Lakers fans seem to be growing accustomed to.
Other restricted free agents the Lakers may be looking at include Eric Bledsoe and Gordon Hayward, but both of those players seem likely to have their offer sheets matched by their respective teams, leaving Monroe the most likely of candidates to find a new club.