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SI Story Says Monroe's Throwback Status Has Hurt Him In Free Agency

By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT - When NBA superstar LeBron James decided on his free agency destination, most expected the rest of the league's free agents to quickly fall into place among new teams. For Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe, that still has not happened, and a Sports Illustrated story delved into why.

Writer Rob Mahoney concludes that Monroe's status as a throwback big man, with traditional back-to-the-basket moves and without the ability to hit mid-range jumpers, makes him a difficult fit in today's NBA. Last season Monroe averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds, so he will command a pretty penny, but teams may be reluctant to spend such money on a player around whom they would have to build so deliberately.

"Monroe would pull a hefty salary without functioning as a primary creator, without offering his team much benefit at all when he doesn't have the ball in his hands and while acting as an imposition to collective defense," Mahoney writes. "NBA teams might very understandably pass on making a lucrative offer to such a player out of concern that the talent acquired wouldn't justify the procedural knots that follow.

"The evolution of the game toward speed, space and mobility involves a process of selection, through which teams naturally value those players who befit a modern style of play," Mahoney continues. "Therein lies the problem with being a throwback player in a game that has evolved rather pointedly: At some point anachronism comes with a price."


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