Mar 28, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) shoots on Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) in the second half at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Miami won 110-78. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics Center Solutions: Greg Monroe

Apr 13, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) dribbles around Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) in the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Afternoon, Boston Celtics fans!

In my ongoing quest to find the perfect solution to the Celtics’ glaring weakness at the center position, I have recruited other writers here at FanSided to provide me with some scouting reports on big men who are about to become free agents.  So far I have examined Spencer Hawes in Cleveland and Marcin Gortat in Washington, and have decided that neither would be the best candidate for our beloved Boston Celtics.

Picky, picky, I know!

Today, you’ll be glad to know I have my sites set on someone who should be on Boston’s Big Board, even if he is not quite on the top of the list:

Greg Monroe, C, Detroit Pistons

If you head over to Hoops Hype and look at that site’s list of the players set to become free agents this offseason, you’ll find Monroe listed as the fourth-most coveted free agent in the NBA.  You can agree or disagree with that particular placement all you want, but make no mistake about it: Monroe’s in line to land a max-contract, so there’s a good number of teams who believe he will make them better.

The question is, should the Celtics be one of those teams?

Here is what Joe Dexter, editor over at FanSided’s Pistons Palace, had to say about Monroe:

The only question about how Greg Monroe would fit in Celtic green is if the front office is willing to give a max deal to a center with Monroe’s skill set. He is not going to protect the rim on defense, and in a ever so changing NBA, he might create defensive nightmares. He isn’t much for banging in the low post, and has a tendency to let cutting wings and guard eat him alive.  Will he get a max deal as a restricted free agent though? There is no doubt about it. With Roy Hibbert‘s struggles this post-season under a microscope, a list of 12 teams with plenty of cap space will probably shrink to two or three.

The Celtics should be one of those teams.

His offensive strong points fit their offense. Every big man with good hands inside needs a great point guard to distribute them the ball. Monroe is great on the pick and roll, and could take his offensive game to another level by getting the opportunity to master the mid-range jumper because he can get the ball open off the screen. Rondo gives him that ability unlike Brandon Jennings. In under 100 attempts, the big man made 44% of his  shots from 8-16 feet. If you add in the fact that Jared Sullinger can settle in at power forward and Kelly Olynyk can provide help off the bench, and you have a formidable front line.

Monroe’s average of almost 15 points and 9 rebounds a game could go a long way toward helping the Boston Celtics become a team whose frontcourt instills nightmares in opposing coaches.   I like to think head coach Brad Stevens will be able to convince Monroe to buy into being more of a force on the defensive end; after all, neither Paul Pierce nor Ray Allen were known for their defense, but look how that changed once Doc Rivers got a hold of them.  It’s possible that Monroe could assert himself more on defense . . . but for a team that is looking for a rim protector, will that be enough?

Monroe definitely has more potential that Hawes or Gortat, and I cannot lie: the thought of Rondo setting up Monroe off of the pick-and-roll is too good to ignore.  Even so, I would not put Monroe at the top of Danny Ainge‘s “Must Have” list right now.  He’s a solid option, probably the best center set to become a free agent, but there are some other players the Celtics should consider trading for before they set their sights on Detroit’s big man.

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