Pistons' big man, Greg Monroe, has expressed ideas of coming to Boston in 2015 free agency.
After five long years of losing in the Motor City, the 24 year old is ready to pack his bags; he has stressed his desires to leave more than once. On September 5th, Monroe and the Pistons were unable to reach a contract extension so he signed a qualifying offer of $5.5 million dollars which means that he can be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Monroe scored 29 points and grabbed 7 rebounds as the Pistons fell to the Celtics Wednesday night. And being that the big man is former teammates with fellow Hoya Jeff Green, he was asked questions about his thoughts on coming to Boston.
"We joke about it," said Monroe. "We all joke about it, man, but obviously it's a lot more than us two coming here or us two talking about it. Right now, I'm just focused on where I'm at. Whenever the time is and if everything is right, then obviously I'll always weigh my options, but right now I'm not worried about that."
He then went on to discuss his relationship with Green.
"We're really good friends," said Monroe. "Obviously, he's originally from D.C., so he's always home in the summer, and I spend a lot of time back at school, so we're together a lot. We have the same agent and stuff like that, so we have a pretty good relationship. I would say we're good friends."
Danny Ainge shared some comments as well,
"I'm always trying to get quality. We're trying to get better, more impactful players," Ainge said. "We do have a hole from the rim-protecting standpoint. You can't just add rim protection and give up other things that you have that are solid. A quality one is not easy to find; maybe through the draft or free agency. But we will work all the way up to the trade deadline to see if we can fix that hole in the meantime.
Monroe's talent is often hard to find in the NBA today. He is a pure bred center offensively with a polished post game and not much of a jump shot, yet his defense needs some work. He averages just 0.2 blocks per game and is far from a rim protector, but he does use his large frame to overpower his opponents at times. In any case, Monroe would be signed to add to scoring on the inside. He averages 14.4 points per game and 9.4 rebounds.
Since Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller are not the types of centers to invest in long term, is Greg Monroe the answer?
Monroe would be asking for a contract along the lines of 4 years/$60 million--the max. Is it smart to invest in a center who does not address the Celtics' needs and also takes up tons of cap space?
I think Danny Ainge needs to pass up on this guy and find a solid rim protector elsewhere, whether it be in the draft or cheaper in free agency. While Monroe offers valuable scoring and a big body, he is certainly not worth the max-deal to the Celtics.