One of the more interesting offerings at the sports website grantland.com is when ESPN personality Bill Simmons ranks the top 50 players in the NBA, based on trade value.
He has released the first two parts of a three-part series, and two Detroit Pistons — Andre Drummond (No. 46) and Greg Monroe (No. 28) — are on the list.
It’s not surprising he picked them — especially when you get the sense from hardcore Pistons that they would like to keep the two big men and jettison the rest of the roster.
Simmons writes of Monroe: “If you redid the 2010 draft, the top 10 probably goes like this: Paul George (picked 10th originally), John Wall (first), Monroe (seventh), (Derrick) Favors (third), (DeMarcus) Cousins (fifth), (Larry) Sanders (15th), (Gordon) Hayward (ninth), (Grevis) Vasquez (28th), (Avery) Bradley (19th) and (Eric) Bledsoe (18th). Here’s the point: You never, EVER really know with the NBA draft. Anyway, I like Monroe, even if I’ve never had one Monroe-related conversation, email exchange or even a text message with anyone I know. He’s forgettably excellent! He’s Greg Monroe.”
He adds that he understands the fans’ infatuation with Drummond: “If you gave 100 Detroit fans a choice between building around Monroe or Andre Drummond, all 100 would choose Drummond. And I totally get it: Fans always gravitate toward unlimited potential over known commodities.”
He goes on to compare Drummond favorably with former Seattle SuperSonics standout Shawn Kemp, but dings the Pistons rookie for his horrific free-throw shooting. That’s the main reason he’s more convinced of Monroe.