Central Notes: Pistons, Love, Bucks, Stephenson

Greg Monroe and agent David Falk have made it clear that they don’t want any trade this season, though the Pistons have asked about Monroe’s willingness to approve a trade, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Monroe has the right to block any deal because he signed his qualifying offer in the offseason, and he’d lose his Bird rights if he were to be traded. There have been conflicting reports about whether the Pistons are shopping Brandon Jennings, but Goodwill writes that he is indeed on the block. The team’s brass is setting a high price for its assets, but other front offices have yet to meet those demands, according to Goodwill, who wrote his piece before today’s Josh Smith bombshell. We’ve been tracking the latest on Smith all day, and as we continue to do so, here’s more news from the Central Division:

  • Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders insists that had it not been for the offer from the Cavaliers, he wouldn’t have traded Kevin Love this year, as Saunders told reporters, including Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter link). There were simply no other proposals he liked, despite seemingly fevered interest from half of the league’s teams.
  • Saunders also seemed to confirm that Love had forced his way off the Wolves, as Krawczynski relays in a full piece“Minnesota people are pretty loyal,” Saunders said. “When you turn on Minnesota they don’t forgive you.” Still, Saunders added that he has no hard feelings, Krawczynski tweets.
  • Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry saw the Milwaukee franchise as a “blank slate,” Krawczynski writes in another piece, adding that the ownership duo has quickly revamped the business side of the team and is very pleased with how their roster is taking form. “It’s better than the Spurs. Those are the old guys,” Edens told Krawczynski. “Would you trade Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Jabari [Parker] and all the rest of the young guys for them?”
  • While initial reports had Edens and Lasry pledging $100MM towards a new arena in Milwaukee, the actual number the owners have agreed to commit has since grown to $150MM, reports Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Walker reminds us that former Bucks owner Herb Kohl agreed to kick in $100MM himself and that there might be additional private capital coming. Whatever amount on top of that is required to build the arena will come from public financing, Walker says, adding that the team faces an NBA-mandated deadline of fall 2017 to have the new facility in place.
  • Pacers players aren’t embracing the idea of bringing Lance Stephenson back to the team, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Indiana’s front office was reportedly cool to the idea as the Pacers engaged in preliminary talks with the Hornets about trading for the shooting guard.

Alex Lee contributed to this post.

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