According to reports, the Toronto Raptors have agreed to sign big man Greg Monroe. This past season, Monroe finished the year as the Boston Celtics backup power forward or center. He also had stints with the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks in 2017-18, and it was with the latter that he originally signed a three-year, $50 million contract back in 2015. He was an unrestricted free agent coming into the 2018 off-season.
Toronto Signs Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe’s contract will take him through the end of the season. It is a one year deal for $2.2 million.
Monroe played only eight games with the Bucks this season before he was traded to the Suns in November, with whom he played 20 games while averaging 11.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in a little over 23 minutes on the court every night. He was waived by Phoenix on February 1st, and seven days later was signed by the Boston Celtics for the rest of the season. He averaged 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game with the Celtics. However, he only saw 19 minutes of action every night.
Monroe was once a starter and a start with the Detroit Pistons, part of a formidable frontcourt duo with Andre Drummond. In his five years in Motor City, his numbers would hover around 15 points, 9-10 rebounds per game, and double-doubles were not special for him. He was expected to put up these same kinds of numbers in Milwaukee when he signed for the Bucks in 2015, but in his second year with the team, he would get relegated to a permanent bench role, as he was never able to fully fit into the system that then-Bucks head coach Jason Kidd implemented in the team.
In Phoenix, he was expected to complement and contribute to a promising young team with players like Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, and Marquese Chriss. However, the Suns being the Suns, Greg Monroe was never able to reach his full potential in Phoenix, and would eventually be waived and subsequently signed by Boston.
With the Celtics, he would see action on the court only as a backup big man, and although he put up some solid numbers given his limited minutes, come playoff time, he would not play a significant role in the Celtics’ deep playoff run, putting up only 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in less than 10 minutes on the court.
For a big man like him, Monroe dishes out assists pretty well, and also has decent shooting abilities in the mid-range, allowing for floor spacing to a certain extent, when he is on the floor. However, he struggles to be an effective defender in the paint against opposing frontcourts. Throughout his career, the most blocks he would average in a season was 0.8 in his first season with the Bucks. This is certainly a setback for someone with such a high offensive caliber such as Greg Monroe.
Monroe is going into his 11th season in the league. He should be in a hurry to turn his career around at this point, as he is getting ever closer –1 year away — from being on the wrong side of 30 years old. He is definitely looking forward to assuming a more significant role with the Raptors.