ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Boston Celtics will sign free agent big man Greg Monroe to a 1 year contract worth $5 million.
Greg Monroe will sign with the Boston Celtics, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 2, 2018
Monroe will sign a one-year, $5M deal with Celtics, league sources tell ESPN. Pelicans could only offer $2.2M.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 2, 2018
Monroe chose to sign with the Celtics over his hometown New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans could offer Monroe more minutes, a starting role and playing at home, but Boston’s offer of more money and a chance to go deeper in the playoffs seemingly won out.
Monroe will give the Celtics depth at the “big” role in Brad Stevens’ system. He’ll likely backup both Al Horford and semi-regular starter Aron Baynes. With rookies Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele as the only other true bigs on the roster, Monroe adds another layer of much-needed depth up front.
In 25 games between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns this season, Monroe has averaged 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He’s also averaging 2.2 assists per game, and Boston will make good use of his passing ability.
For his career, the eight-year veteran averages 13.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. The rebounding in particular will be a boon to a Celtics squad that still struggles regularly on the glass.
The 27-year old Monroe was originally drafted by the Detroit Pistons. He played in Detroit for five seasons before signing a three-year contract with the Bucks as a free agent in 2015. He was traded to the Suns in November in a deal that saw Milwaukee acquire Eric Bledsoe.
Monroe and the Suns reached a buyout on the final year remaining of his $17.8 million contract, making Monroe a free agent. With Phoenix in rebuilding mode, it was expected they would buyout or trade Monroe. When no trade materialized, he was bought out.
Monroe’s waiver, as part of the buyout process, was completed on Thursday, 2/1/18. He’ll clear waivers on Saturday, 2/3/18 and will be free to sign with Boston prior to their home game on Super Bowl Sunday, 2/4/18 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Boston is signing Monroe using $5 million of the $8.4 million Disabled Player Exception they received for Gordon Hayward. Since the DPE can be used on only one player, this will remove it from the tools the Celtics have to use for the remainder of this season.
After completing the Monroe signing, Boston will be approximately $3.6 million under the Luxury Tax. Monroe will also fill the Celtics lone open roster spot, which was recently vacated when Jarell Eddie’s 10 Day Contract expired.