Apr 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) saves an out of bounds during the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Van Gundy on re-signing Greg Monroe: ‘It’s obviously got to be a mutual thing’

Stan Van Gundy on Greg Monroe, via Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders:

I’m not hesitant at all about that. I mean, I didn’t mean to be. No, we want Greg Monroe back. But it’s obviously got to be a mutual thing, too. So, there’s no hesitation there. From day one, I think Greg can tell you, I went down and met with him. He was the first player I met with. I went down and met with him within a few days of getting the job and made it clear to him that – met with him in Miami – made it clear to him that we want him back. And we haven’t wavered on that at all.

I’m confused by Van Gundy – after implying the Pistons would match even a max offer for Monroe – saying Monroe’s return must be mutual.

It really doesn’t need to be.

Monroe is a restricted free agent, meaning the Pistons can match any offer he receives. It’s 100 percent in the Pistons’ hands whether he plays for them next season.

Some restricted free agents have signed offer sheets elsewhere and declared how badly they want to leave. See Eric Gordon with Phoenix. These players have no leverage other than threatening to brood as they play out the contract with their previous team. See Eric Gordon with New Orleans.

If Monroe does that, would Van Gundy not match? Is he allowing this decision to become mutual?

The psyche of a player is important, and an unhappy Monroe probably won’t produce as well as he has the previous few years. But even if he says he’d be upset with the Pistons matching an offer sheet, they’d have time to win him over again.

There’s no guarantee he’d stay mad. Heck, if Monroe actually pulled such a stunt – and I’d be somewhat surprised if he did – I’d bet he gets over any misgivings shortly after Detroit matches.

I’d much rather risk changing Monroe’s attitude than letting him walk for nothing.

Does Van Gundy share that mindset? I would have guessed yes – most executives would – but his latest comments open the door for a different philosophy.

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