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October 6, 2014 Updates

One could essentially drive him, while Smith would have to ignore the latter if he will indeed take on a positive leadership role this season. Smith doesn't know if the rumors were true that teammate Greg Monroe threatened to sign a qualifying offer this summer if Smith weren't traded, and from all accounts, it seems way out of character for Monroe. "You can't really concern yourself with it," Smith said. "But that was my first time dealing with it. Even in Atlanta, nothing like that ever came up in free agency from anybody's camp." Detroit News

Neither side knows from where surfaced the rumors, which can certainly get away from the business of becoming a better basketball team. It appears the two haven't spoken directly about the rumors, although Monroe said he had a conversation with Stan Van Gundy, insisting he was willing to reach out to clear the air. "I think if things aren't true, I think the other person who people are kinda throwing under the bus, as a teammate and a man, should come to that individual and let him know that had nothing to do with him," Smith said. Detroit News

"Definitely a goal of mine. I feel like I've been cheated a couple times," Smith said. "People take for granted how well I guard perimeter guys as well as low-post defenders. Hopefully it'll be highlighted this year, every year I try to go out and be on one of those teams because it's a lost art in this league." Detroit News

October 4, 2014 Updates

Andre Drummond isn't making any predictions about the Detroit Pistons' win-loss record this season. But he guaranteed one thing on Day 4 of training camp under new coach and president Stan Van Gundy today. "There's one thing I can tell: We'll probably be the best conditioned team in the NBA," Drummond said with a chuckle. "I can tell you that right now. "The way he has us going up and down, he wants us to be a fast-paced team." Detroit Free Press

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

"My family and I made the decision," Monroe said of signing the qualifying offer. "I have an agent who handles that and I don't feel as a player it's something I should talk about. Just because I signed a qualifying offer people assume I'm leaving. That's not the case. "I love Detroit and the people here. I'm looking forward to playing for this coaching staff. There's no problem with any of my teammates. I went to Josh and we talked. He knows what I said and didn't say." Detroit Free Press

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

 

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