Celtics Sign Veteran Big Man Greg Monroe
WASHINGTON – The Boston Celtics filled their final roster spot Thursday afternoon by signing veteran big man Greg Monroe.
The acquisition of the 6-foot-11, 265-pound center should give Boston a major boost in the rebounding department, as well as a solid scoring option off the bench.
“I think that's a great pickup for us," said Celtics forward Marcus Morris. "He’s a player who knows how to play the game. He's been around the league awhile, so I think he'll add to our size down low, (and add) scoring.”
Monroe became available Feb. 1 when he and the Phoenix Suns agreed to a contract buyout. The 27-year-old played only five games with the Suns this season, having been previously dealt from the Milwaukee Bucks in early November.
Monroe played in a total of 25 contests between Milwaukee and Phoenix this season, boasting averages of 10.4 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, all while shooting a career-best 60.1 percent from the field and playing 21.8 minutes per contest.
Over the course of his eight-year NBA career, Monroe has established himself as a top-notch rebounder on both ends of the floor, as well as a serious low-post scoring threat. He has put up career numbers of 13.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.3 APG and a 51.4 percent shooting clip from the field during his time in Detroit, Milwaukee and Phoenix. He enjoyed an impressive five-season stretch from 2012-2016 during which he averaged 15.6 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
The No. 7 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft should be able to help carry Boston’s second-unit offense thanks to his burly, physical presence that couples nicely with a strong set of post-up skills.
“He's a big body," said Morris. "Even if he's not scoring, he's carving space for other guys to be able to drive. He's well respected around the league so that goes a long way. I think he's going to be a great piece for us going forward."
Another benefit of having Monroe on the Celtics is that the team no longer has to face him. He has been a matchup nightmare for Boston throughout his career, having averaged 15.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 2.5 APG during 26 appearances against the C’s.
Monroe has also proven that he is capable of stepping up in the Playoffs. He was a major contributor off the bench for the Bucks last postseason, as he averaged 13.2 PPG and 7.3 RPG, while playing 23.5 MPG.
Leading up to this year’s Playoffs, the Celtics will do their best to integrate Monroe and get him used to their system so that he can potentially help boost the team on a lengthy postseason run.
“That’s always a challenge,” admitted coach Brad Stevens, “but I think that’s something that, any time you’re in this business, you get used to being on your toes and making sure that you’re able and you’re ready to do those types of things.”
Boston will start the process of integrating Monroe immediately, as he is expected to be available to make his Celtics debut tonight against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.