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Pistons Not Optimistic About Re-Signing Monroe But Not Ruling It Out

By Ashley Dunkak

AUBURN HILLS - When the Detroit Pistons acquired forward Ersan Ilyasova, it appeared to be one more sign that the team will soon be parting ways with forward Greg Monroe, an unrestricted free agent.

That may well happen, but Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy said the Pistons could still re-sign Monroe, who averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds last season.

"The door is not closed," Van Gundy said Monday at a pre-draft press conference. "We're not entirely optimistic on that situation, but no, the door's not closed because Greg would obviously fill one of the spots and even another roster spot as a backup four, and then we'd just spend what's left after Greg to go try to get a three, so no, we don't think the door's closed on that."

Van Gundy also said the team has no immediate plans to renounce Monroe, a move that would give the team additional cap room.

"I don't see any scenario where we would do that before the 30th," Van Gundy said. "Where you would be sort of forced into that decision would be early on in the free agency period if things weren't going well with him, you needed the extra money to sign a starting three, something like that you might have to do that, but there's no reason to do it at this point."

Van Gundy said the money the Pistons currently have to address the roster -- reported to be around $18 million -- should be sufficient for the team to make the moves it wants.

"Right now, in our mind, we only have to fill one starting position," Van Gundy said. "We're pretty comfortable heading into the year. And there will be competition, certainly, but if we head into the year and are going on what happened last year and what we've done in the offseason, if we went into next year with Reggie [Jackson], KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope], Ilyasova and [Andre] Drummond, we'd be happy with that, so that only leaves one starting spot that we've got to fill.

"And then the only real major need where you would need some amount of money would be for a backup five, so I think that we feel like that's enough money," Van Gundy added. "And then we've also got, if we want to use it, an exception, for teams that have room, so we do have a little bit more than that, actually, to spend."

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