The Los Angeles Lakers will meet with Detroit Pistons' free agent forward Greg Monroe on Wednesday, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Monroe, who is an unrestricted free agent after accepting the Pistons' qualifying last season when the two sides were unable to agree on an extension, averaged 15.9 points on 49.6 percent shooting and 10.2 rebounds in the '14-15 NBA season with Detroit. Monroe and the Pistons are by all accounts considered likely to part ways, and according to Zillgitt the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers are also expected to meet with Monroe on the first day of free agency.
After drafting D'Angelo Russell second overall in the 2015 NBA draft, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team will target big men in free agency, and Monroe is one of the top candidates on the market. While the Lakers have set their sights on the Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldrdige as their top target and will meet with him as soon as free agency officially begins, the team is reportedly intrigued with the fit of Monroe as well:
The Lakers are intrigued because they also run principles of the triangle offense and envision Monroe, who is an able passer, making the right reads in Byron Scott's offense, which also employs Princeton-style sets at times.
Monroe is not as talented as Aldridge, but the 25-year old does fit the growth window of the Lakers' young trio of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Russell much more snugly than the 30-year old Aldridge. The Lakers getting meetings with both, as well as a Wednesday meeting with Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, does at the very least demonstrate that the franchise has not lost all of its appeal to free agents, despite a few down years.