Van Gundy ‘not wavering’ on Monroe


VIDEO: A Detroit journalist talks about the Pistons

ORLANDO — Stan Van Gundy might be wearing two hats now as coach and president of basketball operations for the Pistons, but he is of one mind on free-agent forward Greg Monroe.

“I’m not hesitant at all about that. I didn’t mean to be. We want Greg Monroe back,” Van Gundy said Tuesday afternoon in a hallway of the Amway Center before the Pistons took on the Heat in the Orlando Pro Summer League. “It’s obviously got to be a mutual thing too. But there’s no hesitation there.

“From Day One, Greg can tell you, I went down and met with him. He was the first player I met with. I went down and met with him within a few days of getting the job and made it clear to him … that we want him back and we haven’t wavered on that at all.”

The 6-foot-11 Monroe is a restricted free agent after averaging 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds for a dysfunctional Pistons team that finished with a 29-53 record. After the elite level of NBA free agents that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, the 24-year-old is one of the hottest commodities on the market.

It’s expected that Monroe will eventually get an offer in excess of his $10.2 million salary cap hold. The Pistons can match any offer Monroe receives as a restricted free agent.

“There’s been a lot of back and forth,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s been productive and good. There’s no doubt on my part, on the basketball side of things, that we want him back.

“It comes down to the business part of the game. … That’s always a different thing than just the coaching and playing side. There’s a business part of it and that’s where we are right now and these things are a big part of it. You take your summer and do your business and you go from there.”

Van Gundy refuted a story from last week that claimed Monroe had made it clear in negotiations that he wanted fellow forward Josh Smith traded or else he would only sign a one-year qualifying offer for $5.4 million and then became an unrestricted free agent next summer.

“It wasn’t true,” Van Gundy said. “We’ve been in constant conversation with Greg and his agent [David Falk]. Not one time have either one of them voiced any displeasure about Josh Smith. Not at any time has either one of them intimated that Greg didn’t want to play with Josh. So Greg was very bothered when that stuff came out, which I understand. Because it’s a teammate. You wouldn’t like it if it came out and you said it. But if you didn’t say it, it’s really troublesome and he’s never said that to any of us throughout this situation.”

Van Gundy would not go say for certain whether the Pistons would match any offer that Monroe might received from another team. A maximum contract offer for Monroe would be roughly $15.8 million next year.

“I’m not going to get into the business side of things and I’m certainly not going to help other teams in terms of building their strategy or anything else,” Van Gundy said. “I’m just going to say that Greg Monroe is a very important piece of the puzzle in Detroit and that we want him back very, very much, and we’ll see what happens over the next weeks, months, whatever it takes.”

12 Comments

  1. robert says:

    Atalanta should go in and just outbid Detriot on Monroe adding him to the frontline with Horford

  2. pokie says:

    Monroe isn’t the Alpha dog on your team. That’s not who he is. He’s an All-Star level Glue-Guy. I can see him starting on a championship team though. Boston should be interested if they can’t land Kevin Love. I think he would be a good fit for Brad Stephens system. He would be a nice piece in a Kevin Love trade. If Houston looses the Carmelo sweepstakes he would compliment Howard and Parsons games very well. Phoenix has plenty of pieces for a sign and trade. They could use a skilled big. The Carmelo-less Knicks might be a good spot for him as well. I’d like to see what Phil and company could do with him.

  3. Rico says:

    I think they will trade Monroe up.
    SVG has Drummond his Dwight
    and he just needed someone who can shoot 3s.
    If he stays it will be a surprise as seeing SVG coached before, it will be a mess down low.

  4. wowwowbad says:

    Monroe has some weakness such as not a good defender, not a good shot blocker, not athletic,… but he’s probably one of the best post presence when you run an offense in the league. I can’t think of any guy not naming Duncan and Aldridge would have been compared to Monroe. In addition, he and Drummond perfectly complement with each other, and Smith is obviously the odd man out.

  5. joseph says:

    Monroe has no defense, sub-par in the perimeter and slow. All his stats came from his one-sided play: Play inside

    • The Voice Of Reason says:

      Hey I’m not a Piston’s fan by any stretch. True he isn’t a DeAndre Jordan or Roy Hibbert (pre All-Star game) on defense but to say he has “no defense”? wow you didn’t even watch him last year. As for your remarks about “perimeter” play? He’s a true Big Man who plays on the inside the way a big man should, not this Chris Bosh “Hey I play Center, but I only shoot 3s” rubbish. He deserves a solid contract – not a max, but $60 million over 4 years with a Team Option is good value for him and keeps him accountable to continue working on his defensive game.

  6. Che Sunday says:

    This is the guy I will love to see my warriors take. We want a neutralizer for DeAndre Jordan and his side kick Blake Griffith.
    Go warriors!

  7. harrythehawk says:

    I have some confidence in Stan Van Gundy that at the minimum, he will get this team of bums and misfits, to actually look like a real basketball team. Including J Smoove. He will!

  8. TheKush says:

    The worst thing the Pistons did was sign Jennings! No matter who they sign as long he’s there starting point guard I don’t see any hope for that team.

  9. Wants to stay 50%; leaving 110% OL

  10. Dazzler says:

    Dear God if this team pays Monroe the max I’m going to throw up.

    • Boogie says:

      To Dazzler, are you saying smith is a better fit for them? Monroe is probably the best draft pick by joe dumars only second to Drummond