Greg Monroe doesn’t always take the approach that everyone expects, choosing instead to go by what feels right to him. That mindset might explain how Monroe once went against meaningless exhibition protocol two years ago, when he pulled a basketball away to prevent John Wall from attempting a self-pass, alley-oop dunk in the inconsequential final seconds of the Rising Stars Challenge. Or five years ago, when Monroe was projected to be a lottery pick after his freshman year at Georgetown and elected to return for one more year despite the possible risks of injury or drop in draft stock.

And, in a league that is progressively phasing out traditional big men for those who can spread the floor and shoot three-pointers, Monroe continues to be a back-to-the-basket throwback who adds more low post moves to his arsenal. Monroe is smart enough and strong enough to do things his own way.

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Monroe has opted for a rather unprecedented plan to accept a one-year qualifying offer worth $5.5 million from the Detroit Pistons in an effort to gain his outright freedom next year as an unrestricted free agent.

With teams having the first right of refusal, restricted free agency was never meant to work in favor of the players under the collective bargaining agreement – especially those who might be unwilling to make a long-term commitment to a franchise that has failed to make much progress during his time in uniform. Even if he desired to sign elsewhere this summer, Monroe would essentially be setting the contract terms for the Pistons to match and tie him up for the next four years.