Greg Monroe says Pistons still a 'viable option'
One moment Greg Monroe was talking about Pistons owner Tom Gores.
The next, the soon-to-be free-agent forward was talking about possibly staying with the Pistons.
"I don't know why people have the notion or the thought that I am just out of here already, like it is one foot out the door," said Monroe, 24. "At the end of the day, I am going to do what any free agent would do. I will listen to everybody and assess it."
Monroe, who becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he'll meet with Gores and Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy.
Monroe also insists the Pistons, who could offer him a five-year max deal, are a viable option, calling them the front-runner to sign him.
"I have ties here; I have been here my whole (adult) life," Monroe said. "They drafted me, so of course I am going to listen to them with the same ear as I listen to everybody else. They have the upper hand."
But things aren't that simple.
The Pistons flubbed things before when they declined to offer Monroe a max deal and instead signed Josh Smith. The belief was Smith would turn the Pistons around. Monroe instead signed a $5.479 million qualifying offer to skip restricted free agency and test the market this summer.
And Smith? He was released.
If Monroe does leave — he, along with Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Memphis' Marc Gasol and Cleveland's Kevin Love likely will be the most sought after free agents — Detroit could target Golden State's Draymond Green (Michigan State), a restricted free agent.
But first things first. There's that meeting with Gores and Van Gundy that needs to take place.
"You know I talked to him multiple times," Monroe said. "I know what he is all about and I understand what he is trying to do. I have had some battles with them sometimes.
"If he feels I am important and he wants to come down I appreciate it."