With the NBA's free agency period about to open up, rumors are flying hot and heavy. A couple released today involve the Portland Trail Blazers.
Darrell Williams of The Advocate out of New Orleans mentions Portland as one of a handful of destinations for Detroit Pistons forward/center Greg Monroe.
Monroe, an unrestricted free agent who played five years with the Detroit Pistons, joins centers Marc Gasol and DeAndre Jordan and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as those available who could most bolster a team's frontcourt.
"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."
Williams suggests the interest may be mutual.
The Trail Blazers are losing Aldridge and want an upgrade from former Pelicans center Robin Lopez.
Monroe made $5.5 million last season, having accepted Detroit's one-year qualifying option so he could become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, including 3.3 offensive rebounds, while playing 31 minutes per game in 69 outings for the Pistons. He's reportedly looking for a 2-year deal with a 3rd-year player option...sure to be a popular choice for free agents with leverage as it strikes the best balance between future security and increased earning potential given rising salary-cap limits in the near future.
Meanwhile Ken Berger of CBSSports throws out this tidbit while discussing the San Antonio Spurs' quest to add LaMarcus Aldridge while retaining their current core:
If there's a fear among Spurs executives, it's that they won't have enough room left to retain Danny Green, who has attracted interest from the Mavs, Blazers and Pistons, sources said.
Mentions like this have less bite to them but it's worth noting that the 6'6" swingman fits several archetypal characteristics of Portland's wing players. He can shoot from range and plays defense, plus he's right in his prime at 28 years of age. Green shot 43.6% from the field, 41.8% from the arc for the Spurs last season while starting 80 games at 28.5 minutes per. 62% of his shot attempts came beyond the three-point arc. He's easily the best shooter the Blazers have been connected with in the rumor mill so far. He made $4 million last season.