Van Gundy: Monroe 'extremely important' to Pistons

Van Gundy: Monroe 'extremely important' to Pistons
July 8, 2014, 6:45 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — The Boston Celtics would love to add a big man with the skills of Detroit's Greg Monroe.

But all indications are that the Pistons are going to do whatever they have to do in order to re-sign the restricted free agent this offseason.

"He's more important than anyone else on the free agent market to us, to the Detroit Pistons," Stan Van Gundy told reporters on Tuesday. "He's extremely important." 

Talented big men are hard to find, and just as hard to keep in the fold.

Van Gundy is well aware of this, which is why he's preparing for any and all potential scenarios involving the 6-foot-11 big man.

"I'm not going to get into the business side of things, and certainly not help other teams in terms of building their strategy or anything else," said Van Gundy who doubles as the team's president of basketball operations and as the Pistons head coach. "Greg Monroe is a very important piece of the puzzle in Detroit and we want him back very, very much. We'll see what happens over the next weeks, months, whatever it takes."

A Monroe-Andre Drummond-Josh Smith frontcourt is long on length, but short - very short - on chemistry.

There was a report earlier that Monroe did not want to return to the team if Smith were still on the roster, but Van Gundy said the report was "a lie."

But the truth is when it comes to free agency, restricted or not, big men with talent like Monroe tend to get max or near-max contracts.

And all indications are that Monroe will consider all situations before making a decision on which team to sign with.

"He does have options available to him," Van Gundy said. "He's not locked in. Yeah, he's a restricted free agent but he has options."

And Van Gundy is quick to say that he and the franchise are prepared for whatever is presented their way when it comes to Monroe.

"We're prepared for any eventuality in this," Van Gundy said. "But there are obviously things we would rather have happen than other things."