Greg Monroe‘s decision to leave Detroit in free agency was set in motion when the franchise declined to offer him an extension in 2013, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. During that summer, former Pistons president Joe Dumars made a big-money offer to Josh Smith and swung a trade for Brandon Jennings, but elected not to lock Monroe up long-term. Monroe developed a strong relationship with Stan Van Gundy, who replaced Dumars in 2014 and became both coach and president of basketball operations, but Monroe felt like his decision was already clear. “Us parting ways from my eyes and a guy like Stan, it was mutual,” Monroe said. “They were going in a different direction, and it was probably time for me to go separate ways. I was talking to him, and he was just kinda giving me advice about my decision, honestly. He was telling me what he thought about the teams that he knew I had interest in, and that’s basically it.” Monroe signed a three-year, $51MM deal with Milwaukee in July.
There’s more news out of Detroit:
- Monroe became a champion of small-market teams when he chose the Bucks over high-profile suitors like the Knicks and Lakers, but that didn’t figure into his decision, Ellis writes in the same story. “Obviously bigger markets have more opportunities, but at this point in my life, I’m focused on basketball,” Monroe said. “I just want to be in best situation for me as far as winning games. At some point, I do want to get into other endeavors, but I’m not going to be on any commercials or anything.”
- Monroe tells Terry Foster of The Detroit News that he is elated at the progress of former teammate Andre Drummond, who has become one of the NBA’s top centers in his fourth season. Through 20 games, Drummond is the NBA’s leading rebounder with 17.0 per contest. Monroe got to watch Drummond develop his game in practice and said it was a mutual learning experience. “I definitely tried to help him as much as possible,” Monroe said. “And I definitely learned some stuff from him.”
- Having 15 players with guaranteed contracts limits the Pistons when it comes to D-League callups, writes David Mayo of MLive. Responding to a reader’s question, Mayo speculates that Detroit might look to upgrade at power forward or maybe acquire backcourt scoring by the trade deadline. But he said any move is unlikely to involve a D-League callup, given the current state of the roster.