Report: Lakers and Knicks didn’t offer Greg Monroe maximum contracts (update: agent says otherwise)
Update: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
Agent David Falk says all four teams Greg Monroe met with offered the max. Chose Bucks due to better chance to "make playoffs immediately."— Ken Berger (@KBergNBA) July 2, 2015
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:
Monroe met with 4 teams: Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, Blazers. All offered the max, I'm told. Chose Bucks because they're the most playoff ready.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 2, 2015
Look, I don’t know. David Falk has incentive to say his client had more max offers. The Knicks and Lakers have incentive to say they missed on Monroe due to their own financial decisions rather than on-court ineptitude.
Either way, I think it would have been reasonable for the Knicks and Lakers to offer or not offer Monroe the max. And if they didn’t offer the max, they surely came close.
Or are they just being patient?
Score one for patience with Greg Monroe, who agreed to a three-year max contract with the Bucks.
I think Monroe is worth a max contract to the Bucks and most teams with cap space this summer and a need for a center.
But the Lakers and Knicks, who have cap space and need centers, are different.
Part of the appeal of signing Monroe now is not having to compete for free agents with the huge number of teams that will have max cap space next summer. The Lakers and Knicks don’t have to worry as much about that, though. They can secure meetings with most, if not every, major free agent due to their prominent markets.
They can aim higher.
Presumably, they have more info about 2016 free agents than I do. If they think they have a legitimate chance at LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Al Horford or some other star, it’s fine to bid less for Monroe.
But here’s what confuses me with the Knicks: There were multiple reports of them being close to signing Monroe. Maybe those reports were just incorrect. If so, ignore this. But if they accurately reflected the Knicks’ perception, that’s troubling. Did they not realize Monroe would get a max offer elsewhere? If so, that’s a bad misread of the market, and that’s a bad sign going forward.
Lakers and Knicks fans should cautiously accept their teams missing on Monroe. But at a certain point, the Lakers and Knicks need to sign someone better to justify it.