Daily Gossip, Sunday 12/4/15

From player moves for next term to Playoff-bound teams looking ahead to the post-season, the light at the end of the 82-game marathon is in sight and don’t we know it.

KNICKS CLOSE TO SIGNING GREG MONROE! IS THERE ANOTHER GREG MONROE?

For a few hours, it was reported that once Greg Monroe becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, the door would be wide open for him to come to New York and join up with the Knicks.

Via New York Daily News:

Maybe the worst kept secret in the NBA is that Phil Jackson plans to pursue Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe in free agency this summer. In fact, one league executive called it “about as close to a done deal as you can get.”

A done deal is illegal of course and would open Jackson and the Knicks to tampering charges. A more likely scenario is that representatives from both parties have made their interest known and will proceed accordingly once the free-agent recruiting period begins on July 1st. It happens all the time.

Well, according to Monroe, that’s the first time that he’s heard that. He’s pretty sure that it’s the first time his agent has too.

Via MLive:

Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe denied a New York Daily News report today in which an unnamed NBA personnel executive said the player’s move this summer to the New York Knicks is virtually a “done deal.”

“You write it’s a done deal, there must be another Greg Monroe around here that I don’t know about, because I haven’t agreed to anything,” Monroe said before the Pistons’ home finale today against the Charlotte Hornets.

It is widely speculated that he anticipates leaving Detroit, but the report that the Knicks have a deal in place while Monroe is under contract to the Pistons would constitute tampering.

“This stuff right here, it’s just unfortunate that we have to talk about it,” Monroe said. “I know we have to. But I talk to my agent every day, and I know for sure, I’m 100-percent, 1,000-percent confident, that he hasn’t done anything. If they (the Knicks) have interest, maybe they might have commented on that. But I haven’t even gotten to that place yet.”

THOMAS AND GALLOWAY SINGLED OUT FOR PRAISE BY FISHER

There are not many positives that you can take out of the New York Knicks’ season, but coach Derek Fisher has singled out two players, Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway for praise after the Knicks beat Orlando on the road in a dead rubber contest.

Via News Day:

Fisher took his praise for them to a new level during the past couple of days. He said Galloway, an undrafted rookie, and Thomas, on his third team in four years, have “changed the culture.”

“To come in and do what they’ve done — they’ve changed our team,” Fisher said. “They’ve changed our culture because they’re great young men. They come to work with the same attitude every day and the same mind-set, and despite our record this season, we’re better off for having had them.”

“Special people are special people,” Fisher said.

Fisher mentioned a couple of other Knicks free agents he believes are “culture” and “glue” guys, citing Lou Amundson and Aldrich. Fisher also said injured guard Alexey Shved hasn’t “hurt his chances” of returning.