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October 2, 2014 Updates

When Van Gundy replaced Joe Dumars as the top name on the basketball operations masthead, it was yet another change in a career full of them, but short on victories. Although the Pistons offered him a sizable contract, slightly larger than Smith's deal, Monroe turned down the security, preferring to take a one-year deal to have his freedom next July. "It's no disrespect to the people working here but it was just tough for me to agree to another four years with new people," Monroe said. "Honestly, if you were to ask the average person would they do that in the arena they're in, they'd say no." Detroit News

He wanted to make clear he's fully embraced the city and its fans, details that often get caught in the crossfire of a player looking for a new situation. "I can't speak for everybody but in my case, when talking about leaving Detroit, it was the team specifically," Monroe said. "I have no problem with the city, or the fans or the people. I don't have a problem with anyone here. I've been received with open arms. People have always shown me love. Fans, they've stuck with us through tough times." Detroit News

And just as things began to die down, another swirl of negativity came to light as news of his DUI arrest from February became public and resulted in a two-game suspension from the NBA — with some less-than-flattering details not far behind. "I broke the law and I've grown from it," Monroe said. "I know it. I did everything I was asked to do legally. At this point, the main thing that's messed with me mentally is my teammates have to play two games without me." Detroit News

October 1, 2014 Updates
September 30, 2014 Updates

The most important player this offseason was Greg Monroe, who couldn't come to terms with the Pistons on a deal this summer, preferring to sign a one-year qualifying offer that will make him an unrestricted free agent next summer. "Greg's a great player, not just a good player," Gores said. "We want Greg to be on board for a long time. We'll have a good enough season where we'll attempt to do that. "We talked to his representatives. We said how much we respected Greg as a person. But ultimately it's Greg's choice. We were disappointed we couldn't make the ultimate deal, of course. Just because we didn't make the deal isn't the end all." Detroit News

Playoff declarations or statements that foreshadow coaching dismissals 50 games into a season are certainly on his docket. As he strolled confidently into Pistons' Media Day Monday, he wouldn't dip a toe into those waters. "Bold (predictions)?" asked Gores rhetorically. "When Stan and I met, the thing we agreed on was trying to win now and not sacrificing the future. We haven't won in a long time." Detroit News

Smith described last season — one where he launched a career-high 265 3-pointers — almost like a nightmare he couldn't wake up from. He tried to mask it with a joke but it appeared he was truly bothered by at least the result, if not the why. "It was real tough. It was very cold and losing on top of it, it got hard," said Smith, who spent virtually every year of his life before last season in Atlanta, except for one year of high school. "But I started off losing in this league so I'm appreciative of the moments of winning." Detroit News

September 29, 2014 Updates

Detroit Pistons center Aaron Gray is out indefinitely after suffering a cardiac episode last month. Gray had the problem, which he didn't discuss in detail, after a voluntary practice session at the Palace. He said Monday he is still undergoing testing to find out exactly what needs to be done. He says there is no timeline on his return. The State

Stan Van Gundy: Josh has heard a million trade rumors. I don't think they bothered him a whole lot anyways. You hear them all the time and 99 percent of them don't come true. The rumors with Josh were so persistent, and there were some things that were way off from the truth that I had to make sure he heard from us. Detroit News

After calling the team's four-year offer "solid," one that sources told the News last month was slightly more than Smith's deal, Van Gundy said he was disappointed Monroe turned it down but wasn't surprised. "I've got great respect for him as a player and person, and he's the kind of guy you want to build this around," Van Gundy said. "I think he's a mature guy who thought it out. I don't think greed had any part of it whatsoever." Detroit News

You talk about deal-making. You came into this summer with a game plan for Greg (Monroe). Obviously you didn't come to an agreement. Were you ever close to getting anything done? Stan Van Gundy: That I can't answer. That's more to Greg, was he close to an agreement? There came a point where his agent said, "Look, we don't want to get into a long back and forth. Give us your best offer." We sat and talked about it and outlined some things we wanted to accomplish with the offer. When I say "we," that was ownership involved. It was a well-thought-out, solid offer in terms of what we wanted to offer. Greg had to make a decision. I'm being honest. I was disappointed to a degree. Detroit News

September 28, 2014 Updates

Monroe is banking on his talent, that he will show enough this winter to cash in bigger next summer, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. When asked whether he would consider Detroit after this year, he said, "definitely." That may be true, but it's also true that he thinks he can get more money next year, and that means he has to be willing to go anywhere to get it. Detroit Free Press

 

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