There were rumblings this past summer that the Atlanta Hawks were one of the teams snooping around Detroit Pistons restricted free agent Greg Monroe. A report by Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News (H/T ProBasketball Talk) sheds a little light on those discussions and why the Hawks ultimately pulled out.
Although Monroe couldn't get a max offer sheet from another team, he did receive substantial interest - and Portland and Atlanta tried to facilitate trades for him.
The Pistons wanted point guard Jeff Teague and sharpshooter Kyle Korver in return for Monroe, and the Hawks balked - perhaps with knowing Monroe could walk to them the summer of 2015, right into their cap space without having to part with valuable assets.
The worst case scenario happened to Detroit as Monroe made the unprecedented move and signed the team's qualifying offer a move that effectively torpedoed their leverage.
While you can make a case for Monroe having a high price tag its easy to see why the Hawks balked at such an offer if the rumor is true. Atlanta is looking to add to its core and not reshape it. They ultimately made the correct call as Korver is one of the best values in the league and Teague has taken another step forward.
The strange part in all of this is the Pistons ultimately could have prevented the Monroe saga from happening had they dealt former Hawks forward Josh Smith to the Sacramento Kings over the summer. The Kings were heavily interested but again, Detroit's asking price was very high even with Smith coming off a career-worst season.
Flash forward to the present. Monroe is leaving at the end of the season and Smith is even worse this season. Instead of getting a pleasant return, the Pistons may have to attach an asset to Smith just to unload the remaining $28 million on his contract.
While this is just a rumor, it will be interesting to see if the Hawks are among the teams that show interest in Monroe as a free agent.