Central Notes: Monroe, Butler, Osman, Johnson

Bucks GM John Hammond believes the team’s plan for a new arena, which has since cleared all hurdles for public funding, played a role in convincing Greg Monroe to sign with the team, as Hammond told NBA TV’s Dennis Scott and TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Monroe cites advice from former Bucks who became his teammates on the Pistons. 

“When I signed, it wasn’t all the way done yet, but now, they have a new stadium coming,” Monroe said. “And I saw how the fans were. We played there, been coming there for years now, multiple times a year in the division. I know what kind of fan base they have. And I talked to a couple of my former teammates in Detroit who played here before, and they had nothing but great things to say about the city and the organization. So with all of that combined, I just definitely felt I made the right decision.”

See more from the Central Division:

  • Jimmy Butler thinks new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg will improve the team’s floor-spacing, an element Butler thought was “terrible” last season, but Butler, in an interview with Aldridge for the same piece, identifies Hoiberg’s personal touch as the most significant change from former coach Tom Thibodeau.
  • The Cavs spoke with No. 31 overall pick Cedi Osman about a month ago, but he’s planning to remain overseas with Anadolu Efes, where he has a contract that runs through at least 2017/18, for the next two seasons, as Osman writes for Eurohoops.net. “I’m happy that my rights are owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers and I hope that when I go there, I’ll meet LeBron James!” Osman writes. “I have a lot to learn from him!”
  • Stanley Johnson was a surprise pick at No. 8 with Justise Winslow still on the board and he struggled in the Pistons‘ open scrimmage Saturday, apart from a highlight-reel play, but he’s otherwise made a strong impression with the team so far, observes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
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