Pistons Notes: Smith, Monroe, Mitchell

Despite last season’s disastrous results, Pistons coach/president Stan Van Gundy says he hasn’t dismissed the idea of using Josh Smith at small forward, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.  Smith will spend most of his time at the four no matter what, but he’ll experiment with a Smith-Andre DrummondGreg Monroe front line later this preseason.  A look at the latest out of Detroit..

  • Late last month, Monroe denied speculation that he didn’t want to play alongside Smith and he had a conversation with Van Gundy addressing the speculation.  Still, Monroe and Smith haven’t directly spoken about it, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. “I think if things aren’t true, I think the other person who people are kinda throwing under the bus, as a teammate and a man, should come to that individual and let him know that had nothing to do with him,” Smith said.
  • PIstons forward Tony Mitchell has a guaranteed contract but the team’s numbers game doesn’t favor him, writes David Mayo of MLive.com.  There are several factors working against Mitchell: he’s one of 16 Pistons with guaranteed deals, he was drafted by he previous regime, he has the lowest salary of anyone on the team, and the team has a logjam in the frontcourt.  Mitchell will likely be playing for his job in tomorrow night’s preseason opener against the Bulls, Mayo writes, though his chances of making the cut could improve if Aaron Gray is sidelined for an extended period.
  • The NBA’s new lucrative TV deal has veteran players abuzz throughout the league, but Monroe wants to see the younger guys take an active interest in getting a fair share of the pie as well, writes Mayo.

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