Better know a 2014 free agent: Greg Monroe

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Our series kicks off with a look at the Detroit Pistons restricted free agent.

We've explained how the Washington Wizards could sign some free agents if they so choose. Now, let's take a look at some of them. We'll shy away from the big big names like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, since y'all know about them. First up: Greg Monroe.

Team: Detroit Pistons

Type: Restricted free agent.

Last year was ____: Disappointing. With Josh Smith and Andre Drummond theoretically manning space around the basket, Monroe needed to become a better jump-shooter and passer to fit in. It didn't happen, so Monroe found himself cramped from opportunities after basic attempts to get him post-ups early in the game. This is not totally his fault, but if he were a better high-post player, he could have found success anyway. He isn't, and thus, he didn't.

Defensively, he struggled to contain ball-handlers in space, a constant problem for him throughout his career. Detroit's scheme was a total disaster, so Monroe isn't the only one to blame. Smith barely tried and Drummond was tremendously inexperienced. Nevertheless, Monroe had his fair share of faults, particularly when teams isolated Brandon Jennings and him as the pick and roll defensive tandem.

Nevertheless, he remained productive and efficient. He hit nearly 50 percent of his shots, almost averaged a double double and was excellent on the offensive glass. He fine-tuned his drop step spin move and had several games where nobody could stop him one on one. His game didn't fall off. It just didn't develop any further.

Why he'd fit in well in D.C.: He's the post-up scoring threat that Nene isn't and would immediately bring an inside-out balance that the Wizards don't have. There will be better spacing in D.C. with Bradley Beal and another excellent-shooting wing around him at small forward, so it'll be tougher to double-team him. Most importantly, John Wall, unlike Brandon Jennings, won't forget about getting him the ball, and that will keep him more engaged.

Why he won't: The Wizards need their power forward to possess a decent floor game, and Monroe hasn't shown enough development in that area. He has poor shooting range, which will cramp spacing, and he's yet to become the facilitator that was expected after his time at Georgetown. He also will continue to struggle defensively unless he plays at center; the Wizards' scheme became more aggressive last year, and that doesn't really suit Monroe well.

Likely price tag: It'll take the max to get him away from Detroit.

Verdict: In a perfect world, this is a move I'd make. Monroe is still very young and will fare better in a situation that isn't Detroit. He lines up with the Wall/Beal timeline and will be a productive player for a long time. There's very little bust potential.

But it's going to be difficult to acquire him in practice. It means saying goodbye to Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza just to make an offer that might be matched. That's a risky maneuver, and Monroe has just enough faults (his defense, his lack of improvement, his so-so floor game) that make it untenable.

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