Report: ‘Strong chance’ Greg Monroe would have declined max contract offer from Pistons

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Greg Monroe signed a one-year qualifying offer to play for the Pistons next season, after his time as an unrestricted free agent this summer failed to attract satisfactory offers from other teams, or one from Detroit that was appealing long-term.

Monroe has seen coaches come and go during his four years there, and has yet to see a plan be put together to turn the team around. He’s not only seeking the largest amount of financial security possible in any new deal, but also wants to be in a far more stable situation.

It’s unclear what the Pistons top offer to Monroe was. But it appears as though he wasn’t willing to sign even a max contract extension to stay in town for the next four or five seasons.

From Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Monroe and the Pistons could not agree on an extension, and even if the Pistons had offered Monroe a max contract, there was a strong chance Monroe would’ve declined. In four seasons with Detroit, Monroe has played for four coaches, and the Pistons have not won more than 30 games in any of those seasons.

Monroe’s representatives steered other teams from presenting Monroe with an offer sheet because they didn’t want the Pistons to match and keep Monroe for another four seasons. Now, Monroe will have freedom to pick his next team, and that’s what he wanted: control of his future.

There is some risk in signing a qualifying offer – Monroe could get hurt or have a down season. But Monroe, the No. 7 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has missed just three games in his career, and new Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy will still have to utilize Monroe, even with center Andre Drummond.

Van Gundy is the wild card in all of this. The Pistons hired him as head coach and president of basketball operations precisely because of perceptions like those held by Monroe, which are valid based on the team’s recent history.

Van Gundy will have a full season to change Monroe’s mind, both about the way he might utilize the big man going forward, as well as showing him that someone competent is finally in charge.

There’s an outside chance that Monroe may in fact re-sign with Detroit when all is said and done. But as of now, it’s clear he’s done with the organization, at least in terms of the way it has handled things during his first four years with the Pistons.

Chris Paul on 2020 Olympics: My wife wants to go to Tokyo

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul feels great starring for the Thunder.

So great, he might even take on extra workload.

Paul – who helped Team USA win gold medals in 2008 and 2012 but didn’t compete in 2016 – said he’s “very serious” about playing the 2020 Olympics. Paul:

I’m excited about the opportunity. My wife is sort of calling the shots on this one. She said she wants to go to Tokyo.

I’ve been blessed and fortunate to play in 2008. I had no kids then. In 2012, my wife couldn’t come, because, four days after the gold medal game, she had my daughter.

We often hear about players missing international tournaments due to personal reasons. But that can go both ways. Paul might compete due to personal reasons.

Paul faces steep and deep competition for making the team at point guard: Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Mike Conley, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White. Trae Young didn’t even make the list of finalists.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said players who’ve previously represented the U.S. will get favorable consideration. So, that’ll help Paul.

If he plays, Paul – who turns 35 in May – would be Team USA’s third-oldest Olympian:

Chris Paul

Age for Team USA’s first game or, in 2020, first game of the tournament

Did John Beilein’s methods lead to Dylan Windler’s season-ending injury?

Former Cavaliers coach John Beilein and Dylan Windler
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John Beilein gave the Cavaliers problems mentally.

Did he also give them problems physically – especially Dylan Windler, who’s missing his entire rookie year?

Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

Warning signs for Beilein could be traced to the Cavs’ Summer League schedule, when the rookie coach ran a collection of (mostly) G Leaguers and non-roster invites through extended practices, multiple times a day. This is precisely what Beilein would have done at Michigan, especially with an entirely new batch of players, this early in a season calendar. But players not only complained about the work, they also were drilled in games by opponents who were clearly well-rested. And this was in Summer League.

There was at least one player, though, involved in those early summer workouts under Beilein who was expecting to make a major contribution to the Cavs this season. Rookie Dylan Windler, a late first rounder, was supposed to compete with Cedi Osman for minutes on the wing. But he never played a game this season because of a stress injury in his left leg — which could be traced back at least in part to being overworked during the summer.

Would Windler have missed the season under a different coach? It’s impossible to say. Counterfactuals are complex.

But there was legitimate reason to be concerned with Beilein’s approach. Teams have learned the importance of rest. Fatigued players are more susceptible to injury.

Beilein’s longest college season was 41 games. He coached 54 games in Cleveland – and left with much of the season remaining.

Handling the grind of the NBA season was always going to be an adjustment for the long-time college coach. It probably got understated amid concern about him relating interpersonally to his players.

The Cavaliers needed practice time. They needed work to develop. That’s clearly what Beilein prioritized.

But they also needed to limit the physical toll, and it’s reasonable to question whether Beilein did enough there. Even if he was learning that the NBA is more marathon than sprint, the several months Beilein coaches the Cavs were enough to cause issues.

Bucks’ minor-league coach suspended two games for rant (video)

Bucks minor-league coach Chase Buford
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Chase Buford, who coaches the Bucks’ minor-league affiliate, went on an epic rant after the Wisconsin Herd’s latest loss. He singled out referee Matt Rafferty as a “f—ing clown” and said the officials were “bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating.”

Ryan Rodig of WFRV-TV:

G League release:

Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford has been suspended for two games without pay for a direct and extended public attack on the integrity and credibility of the game officials.

I can’t recall an NBA coach ever getting suspended for something he said during a press conference.

I also can’t recall an NBA coach ever saying something so inflammatory during a press conference.

In 2005, then-NBA commissioner David Stern threatened to ban Jeff Van Gundy from the NBA after the then-Rockets coach criticized officiating. That incident still led to just a $100,000 fine. Twice as large as any previous fine for a coach. But still just a fine, nonetheless.

Watch entire Kobe Bryant memorial service (video)

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The public memorial for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant featured several unforgettable moments, including:

But I can’t overstate how well done the entire event was, how heartfelt the speakers and performers were. If you missed it yesterday and are in the right headspace, it’s worth watching to get a more complete understanding of Kobe and Gianna.