Those increasingly frequent suggestions that Greg Monroe will be moved before the Feb. 20 trade buzzer are premature.
For now, anyway.
Sources briefed on the situation told ESPN.com this week that the Pistons have been telling teams with Monroe interest that the restricted free agent-to-be — no matter what you’ve heard — is not available.
Not even with Detroit mired at 18-27, looking disjointed (to put it charitably) and clearly in need of a major boost on the perimeter to loosen things up inside for young franchise cornerstone Andre Drummond.
What remains to be seen, of course, is how firm that position stays with slightly more than three weeks to go before the deadline.
Detroit began the season with that oversized frontline and an even bigger mandate to make the playoffs from owner Tom Gores. The half-season evidence strongly suggests that Drummond, Josh Smith and Monroe can’t function defensively as a trio — and that Smith would benefit greatly from a full-time move to power forward — but the Pistons themselves don’t appear ready to break it all up just yet.
Sources say teams calling to inquire about Monroe’s availability are being advised that he’s not on the market. ESPN