The Detroit Pistons don’t want you to think Greg Monroe’s looming free agent status is a distraction. They won’t go as far as to directly call it an irrelevant topic, but they certainly don’t want to answer any questions about it. If you ask Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks to give some insight he’ll simply tell you that he’s not going to address it or that he simply doesn’t know what you’re talking about. It’s business as usual in Detroit, and their business is to win basketball games – not talk about who’s in a contract year (right).
Same goes for the man himself, Monroe. Earlier this season, Monroe directly referred to the topic as something he wasn’t going to talk about anymore before taking questions from the media. From Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:
“Monroe pulled the scribes aside, weeks before the Oct. 31 deadline of having to sign an extension before reaching restricted free agency. He playfully, but firmly, said he wasn’t going to address any contract talks at any point during the season.”
Unfortunately for the Pistons, nobody believes any of this, or at least they don’t care. The questions about Monroe’s status are going to keep pouring in until we hear something we can wrap our teeth around. Monroe is having a stellar season thus far, and he is surely in line for a massive deal. Other free agents from his draft class have already agreed to deals, and some of them can’t even come close Monroe’s production.
Whether this upcoming deal will be with Detroit or not is the elephant in the room. Not only is Monroe having a monumental season, but he has been the face of the franchise since his rookie season. So when the team refuses to answer questions about Monroe’s situation it does nothing to quell the fans’ curiosity. For the Pistons and Greg Monroe, the distraction they are hoping to avoid is, awkwardly, unavoidable. Monroe has meant too much to this organization for it not to be that big of a curiosity.
Don’t expect the Pistons, Monroe or Monroe’s agent to start opening up anytime soon, though. There really isn’t a much better strategy to take. Instead, we’re just going to have to continue uncomfortably staring and analyzing every situation while looking for clues, and when the Pistons’ brass sniffs out what we’re doing we’ll quickly shoot our gaze into the opposite direction like we just locked eyes with our middle school crush.