Greg Monroe enjoyed a fair amount of success under Stan Van Gundy during his first year as head coach. Yet despite that success, the Pistons don’t think Monroe will return to the team next year, according to ESPN.
Stan Van Gundy concedes that the Detroit Pistons are “not entirely optimistic” about bringing Greg Monroe back.
Van Gundy, Detroit’s coach and team president, said the door isn’t closed, but Monroe can test the open market this offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
While it’s unfortunate for the Pistons, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Monroe was already as good as gone even before Van Gundy came on board, as he was reportedly unhappy with his situation in Detroit. It would have been a huge, almost impossible undertaking by SVG to convince Monroe to stay. The odd thing about this is that Monroe is a pretty good fit for Van Gundy’s desired system. Van Gundy’s Orlando Magic operated in four-out, one-in offense, meaning they had four players on the perimeter and one player inside. Monroe is a gifted passer, and while he doesn’t yet command the double team Dwight Howard did in Orlando, he’s nonetheless an ideal player to run that system (just not alongside Andre Drummond).
This leaves the Pistons with a gaping hole in their starting line up. They traded for Ersan Ilyasova earlier in the month, and though he should help in terms of stretching the floor, he’s not the most consistent player on a year-to-year basis. Whether the Pistons will be able to address that need in the draft (perhaps Kristaps Porzingis?) or through free agency (though their desired target, Draymond Green, appears destined to stay with Golden State) remains to be seen. This is the first big test for Van Gundy’s career as a front office executive.