Central Notes: Monroe, Blake, Thompson

Greg Monroe said former Pistons teammate Khris Middleton was a key recruiter in Milwaukee’s pursuit and made it clear that the Bucks roster seemed appealing as a strong fit, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chronicles. “While a lot of people will say, ‘Is this a statement about big cities?’ No. It’s just about a statement that this is a good fit for Greg Monroe,” agent David Falk said in part.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons view newly acquired Steve Blake as an inexpensive option off the bench at point guard, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes. “Just insurance,” coach/executive Stan Van Gundy told Ellis when asked how Blake fit with the team. “We’re very hopeful that Brandon Jennings will play at a high level. And can develop Spencer Dinwiddie, but not have pressure on him.
  • The Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson are reportedly making progress toward a new deal, and with the two sides now roughly $5MM apart on total value, GM David Griffin is confident the situation will be resolved amicably, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com tweets. “I feel good about the situation where it’s at overall,” Griffin said about the negotiations during an appearance on NBA TV.
  • Van Gundy indicated that the Pistons would have passed on chasing free agent small forwards if the trade for Marcus Morris had materialized prior to the NBA Draft, David Mayo of MLive.com writes. “So we were chasing the small forwards on the free-agent market, but there were only a couple of guys that we really liked,” Van Gundy said. “When those guys, we didn’t get, and the trade came available, we jumped at it. We thought it was something that would have been at the top of our list if it had been available at the very beginning.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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