Central Notes: Van Gundy, Monroe, Johnson

The Pistons are still thin in the frontcourt after the trade for Donatas Motiejunas was voided over medical concerns, but there currently aren’t any players available who fit what the team is seeking, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. “So far, nothing on any of the guys who have been bought out or waived,” coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said. “There hasn’t been anybody that we’ve seriously talked to.” While there are a number of guards who are available, the backcourt isn’t currently an area of need for the team, Beard notes. “Where our real need is right now obviously is up front. It’s hard to say [whether we’re interested in guards] because you’d have to weigh quality,” Van Gundy continued. “It depends. If you had a great wing option, that would outweigh certainly a mediocre big. Our need is more up front.”

Van Gundy also acknowledged that the team will be limited financially in its free agent pursuits and could be outbid for any potential targets, Beard adds. “Some teams have money; there are teams that are under the cap and have money to offer. It all depends on what certain guys are looking for,” Van Gundy noted. “If they’re looking for an additional payday, there’s places they can go to get it. If they’re looking to get to the best team, they can. They all have different goals in what they’re trying to do.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Greg Monroe says he still feels that he has the support of the Bucks‘ coaching staff despite being shifted to a reserve role and being mentioned in trade deadline rumors, Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports writes. The big man also believes that the team can turn around its fortunes prior to the end of the season, Mannix adds. “Everyone has kind of given up on us, everyone except for us in this locker room,” Monroe said. “We can be a good team. We have balance. We have players on the floor who can make plays. With me and Michael Carter-Williams coming off the bench, we can score. We just need to keep the focus, keep fighting. We just need to keep trying to find ways to win.
  • LeBron James confirmed the Cavs’ interest in Joe Johnson, who is expected to sign with the Heat when he clears waivers today, but added that he did not reach out to the veteran swingman to make a recruiting pitch, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon notes. “He knows that we want him,” James said. “If he decides to come here, it’d be great. If not, then we’ll continue to move on with what we have. He’s a great piece for any team. If we’re lucky enough to get him, he would mean something to us. If not, we have enough here to compete.”

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