Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
By SI Wire
July 09, 2014

Detroit Pistons coach/general manager Stan Van Gundy reiterated Tuesday that he "very, very much" wants to retain restricted free agent forward Greg Monroereports the team's official website.

Van Gundy said Monroe is more important than any other free agent on the market for the Pistons, and that he's been in consistent contact with team owner Tom Gores about prioritizing Monroe's return to Detroit.

As a restricted free agent, Monroe can agree to a long-term contract with Detroit, sign a one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer or sign an offer sheet from another team, which the Pistons could elect to match. The two parties could also work out a sign-and-trade with another team.

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Van Gundy jumped all over a question that suggested he had been “hesitant” to state unequivocally that he wanted Monroe back.

“No, no — I’m not hesitant at all about that,” he said. “We want Greg Monroe back. But it’s got to be a mutual thing, too. There’s no hesitation. Greg can tell you – I want down and met with him (in Miami). He was the first player I met with within a few days of getting the job and made it clear to him that we want him back and we haven’t wavered on that at all.

Speculation has surrounded Monroe's future with the team since the Pistons signed forward Josh Smith last offseason, particularly because the team also features young big man Andre Dummond. But Van Gundy has repeatedly stated he wants to keep Monroe in Detroit.

Monroe, 24, is entering his fifth season as a pro. He's averaged 14 points and nine rebounds for his career, including 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season.

—Ben Estes


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