Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The restricted free agent informed the Pistons Tuesday that he will accept their one-year, $5.479 million qualifying offer rather than accept a long-term deal, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Monroe, 24, has played his first four seasons with the Pistons after being taken No. 7 overall in 2010.
His decision comes after more than a month of negotiations with the Pistons about a long-term contract. Long thought of as a nuclear option—Monroe is turning down tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash—it’s also a bold power play by his agent, David Falk. By signing Detroit’s offer sheet, Monroe can hit unrestricted free agency next summer. He will also have the power to veto any potential trade during the 2014-15 season.
Bleacher Report – Greg Monroe to sign qualifying offer with Pistons
Greg Monroe rumors were pretty quiet until a few days ago, when Indy reportedly tried to swap Hibbert for Monroe (basically swapping defense for offense). Not sure what discussions actually went down, but now, even if the sides wanted to talk again — Monroe has the right to veto any trade this upcoming season (something I had no idea existed). Some C’s fans wanted in on the Monroe buzz too, as he’s a young and obviously skilled center, but he was apparently unhappy with whatever the Pistons thought he was worth. On Twitter, he denied being offered a $60mil deal:
— Greg Monroe (@M10OSE) August 10, 2014
Still, even if not quite as solid as a 5-year $60 mil offer, it’s possible the Pistons offered something north of $10 million a year to Monroe. He’s also likely to be seeking something closer to a max deal, which could be more doable if the Pistons didn’t own the bloated and un-tradable Josh Smith contract. So, I suppose the Celtics remain a trade option in some capacity this season, and if nothing else (for now), Monroe becomes another tall and talented name thrown in to the impending 2015 free agency frenzy.
Page 2: C’s reportedly opening at home against Nets
League sources tell NetsDaily that the Nets will open the 2014-15 season vs. the Celtics in Boston on October 29…
…The opener vs Boston will once again give Celtics fans a chance to honor Kevin Garnett, but Paul Pierce has moved on to Washington, who the Nets will reportedly play in their second game of the season.
NetsDaily – Sources: Brooklyn Nets to open at Boston
We’ll know for sure later today, when the schedule either leaks midday, or is announced at 6pm on NBATV. If NetsDaily is right, then I’d assume this will be the C’s first game as well. Should be an interesting test for Marcus Smart in his NBA debut. He should get minutes guarding Joe Johnson, one of the league’s smoothest (and tallest) shooting guards. Not to mention he’ll get an opportunity at some point to go head-to-head with Deron Williams.
Date is circled.
And finally, the Clippers sale to Steve Ballmer went final yesterday
The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was completed Tuesday with an email from a California courtroom, one of Ballmer’s attorneys told USA TODAY Sports.
The NBA Board of Governors had previously approved the $2 billion deal, which was officially closed after a California court issued a final order confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, the NBA confirmed on its website. Shelly Sterling was the sole trustee after her husband, Donald Sterling, was found mentally incapacitated by two doctors and subsequently removed as a co-trustee.
Good news for the Clippers’ players, staff, and fans. Not long after that report, I saw that Doc soon plans to start contract talks with Ballmer, which must be a sigh of relief for fans, who could have seen Doc quit if Sterling remained in ownership next season. One strange part of this deal are the tidbits Shelly Sterling pushed for — and got from Ballmer — as a result of selling the team. To name a few: A total of 12 tickets (2 courtside) to all home Clippers games, six parking spots for those games, three rings following any Clippers’ championship, lifetime rights to the title “Clippers Number 1 Fan”, and an agreement to call her “Owner Emeritus”.
The rest of the links: