We should be looking at trade options for Lamarcus Aldridge and hopefully Neil Olshey already is. He isn't likely to sign with us after his contract is up and he makes our championship window so much smaller. I love LMA, his style of play and his consistency, but i think we will be getting more value by trading Aldridge then by keeping him. Therefore i purpose to you.....
.......something that has been purposed many times at blazeredge! Trade LMA for Greg Monroe, but how would that benefit anyone?
Why Detroit does this
Detroit wants to win now. That has been made clear with the signing of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. To win now Detroit has to shift from focusing on the future to focusing on the now. Does swapping, say, Monroe + Stuckey for Aldridge make them a more "win now" team? YES! and not only on talent alone. Aldridge's game fits nicely along Smith/Drummond/Jennings because he brings something unique and isn't redundant. He stretches the floor for Smith and Drummond and provides another source of offense for the pistons. Even if you have 3 elite centers you can't be a good team until all the positions are properly utilized....that's just how it works. Along with that, Aldridge is a two way player. His defense is miles better than Monroe's, but I'll credit that to Monroe's lack of experience then anything else. Still, watching how much stretch fours punish his lack of athleticism is pretty embarassing. Lastly, even though Monroe is improving there are obvious weaknesses in his game such as his lack of athleticism. This limits his ceiling a bit imo and changes his potential from superstar to allstar (a la Aldridge). Its also important to note that Monroe's rookie deal is almost up and he will be probably be looking for 10 million next year.This diminishes Monroe's value and makes it harder for the pistons to sign him and still have future room for Drummond and KCP
For all these reasons, Detroit would be lucky to get Lamarcus Aldridge for Monroe AND have the opportunity to shed Stuckey's salary.
Why Trail Blazers do this
We get Monroe who is young, healthy and fits our timeline much better than Aldridge and who we can lock up for at least 5 years (though he will cost a lot). Monroe's offense is mostly around the basket, but he has been integrating a jumpshot successfully.
Here's a look at Aldridge's stats compared to Monroe's stats their first three years in the league
Lamarcus Aldridge/ pick #2 in the 2006 draft
Greg Monroe/ pick #7 in the 2010 draft
Points per game
LMA: points per game are higher by about 2 ppg, but with an average fg% of 49.03%
Monroe: points per game are lower by about 2ppg, but with an average fg% of 51.93%
Verdict: slight edge to Lamarcus
LMA: average offensive rebounds: 2.7 average defensive rebounds: 4 total average rebounds: 6.7
Monroe: average offensive rebounds: 3.2 average defensive rebounds: 5.7 total average rebounds: 8.93
Verdict: Decent advantage to Monroe
LMA: 1.3 assists per game
Monroe: 2.36 assists per game
Verdict: Decent advantage to Monroe
LMA: 1.13 blocks per game
Monroe: .666 blocks per game
Verdict: Decent advantage to LMA
Lastly and most importantly, Games played
LMA: 220/246 possible games played or 89.4% games played
Monroe. 227/230 possible games played or 98.6% games played
Verdict: slight edge to Monroe
In the first three seasons of his career, Lamarcus Aldridge posted slightly better points per game and blocks per game than Greg Monroe
In the first three seasons of his career, Greg Monroe posted much better rebounds per game, much better assists per game and played slightly more games than Aldridge.
So what does this all tell you?
This doesn't say that Greg will be a better player than Lamarcus, but he does show similar growth to our allstar and if we could trade 2 years of our allstar for 5 years of a likely similar impact player then I'm all for it, but since its all potential right now I would like detroit to throw in something extra. Nothing too expensive, but I would take our portland boy Kyle Singler who is an improvement over Claver and also take a chance on Tony Mitchell who just a year ago was supposed to be a lottery player. Stuckey will also help us right now by making sure that Barton and Crabbe do not see the floor this year.
I think this trade is completely fair for both teams.
P.S. Imagine this. We completely throw away the whole center and powerforward label and go with a front court of Meyers Leonard and Greg Monroe. Meyers focuses on outside shooting and Greg focuses on working the block and rebounding. Just think of the mismatches!