Throughout the regular season, Detroit Pistons head coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy voiced his desire to retain big man Greg Monroe in free agency this offseason, but his recent roster moves indicate otherwise.
Earlier this month, Van Gundy traded for stretch-forward Ersan Illyasova, another shooter to slot next to center Andre Drummond, whom the Pistons hope can assume a Orlando Magic Dwight Howard-esque role as they look to play through him to create for others. Van Gundy’s reconfiguration of Detroit’s roster has apparently left a bad taste in Monroe’s mouth, and while speaking to Darrell Williams of The Advocate at his basketball camp, he revealed that he does not intend to return to the Pistons.
I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece.”
“Stan had smaller teams in Orlando (Magic) years ago,” Monroe said. “Dre is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”
Monroe has been linked to the likes of the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers ever since signing a one-year qualifying offer with the Pistons last summer, but he revealed to Williams that he also intends to meet with the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers in addition to the aforementioned big-market behemoths.
Portland is certainly an intriguing scenario, as they could possibly be looking to fill the huge void star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge may leave if he indeed does depart from the Blazers. We’ll likely know more about Monroe’s playing future soon, as free agency starts on Wednesday.