Should the Boston Celtics Target Greg Monroe?


Even with the NBA Finals going on, many rumors and trades are still going on behind the scenes. Right now there has been an interesting development with Greg Monroe‘s free agency decision. Earlier reports “speculated” saying that for all intents and purposes, Monroe would become a New York Knick next season.

While I found it odd to make it a done deal, many believed that there was no way he wouldn’t sign in New York. Funny how time can make things change. The Knicks are still considered a favorite to sign Monroe, but now the Boston Celtics have emerged as a legit favorite to also sign Monroe (according to Gery Woeflel of the Racine Journal Times).

The question for some is, why would the Celtics go for Monroe with more attractive free agents available? Monroe might now be higher on the Celtics “want list” than some of those other free agents, especially Kevin Love. The Boston Herald reported that the Celtics aren’t as interested in Love as they were last offseason (injuries might be the reason there). So it looks like the Celtics would rather go on all-in on the 25-year-old forward who has played his entire career in Detroit as a second-fiddle.

Speaking of Detroit, there is now no reason for Monroe to stay on the Pistons anymore. The team just recently traded Caron Butler and Shawe Williams for Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova. It looks like the team plans to have Ilyasova play the four position along side Andre Drummond, which was occupied by Monroe last season.

The Pistons look to space out the floor instead of having Drummond and Monroe clog the paint during games. That would be a nice step for Detroit to finally get a cohesive team together, instead of the mess they’ve had in previous seasons. Monroe and Drummond were essentially the same player, so having them both on the floor together seemed to be counterproductive to develop Drummond.

Still, is Monroe the player that the Celtics should sign over other free agent big-men? While LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, and Marc Gasol are more attractive to sign, Monroe would be in the second-tier of free agent forwards, which is nothing to sneeze at. If none of the previous stated players want to sign with the Celtics, then of course Monroe should be a top priority for the team. The Celtics need a forward with some rim-protection ability, and Monroe fits that build.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

However, Monroe isn’t the kind of the player I would want on the Celtics (if he is the only big free agent signing). He is a better and more expensive version of Jared Sullinger, which isn’t bad. However, he isn’t a player who can carry a team. His career numbers are 14.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and he would greatly help in the rebound department if Boston signed him. However, any forward available (Aldridge, Love, Jordan etc.) would be able to help out in that department.

If the Celtics just want a rebounder, sign Tristan Thompson since he might be a cheaper option than Monroe. Monroe isn’t explosive around the rim, so the Celtics would have to hope that his post-moves can continue to confuse opponents (as well as getting offensive put-backs). While Monroe would be the best rim-protector on the Celtics, he doesn’t have the same defensive abilities as a Jordan or Gasol. If the Celtics are going to spend money, I’d put more stock into an Aldridge or Gasol, who can provide both offense and defense at a better level. Monroe can do what the Celtics need, he just can’t do it at the same level as some of the top-tier free agents.

So why should Boston go all-in on Monroe? Isaiah Thomas has been recruiting as well as he can with players that are well-worth the big money that will be thrown around. Yes, Monroe would be a great asset to add to the Celtics, but he isn’t the premier player the Celtics need to add. Monroe isn’t a player who can carry a team on his shoulders. The Celtics need that to truly move forward and contend for a title. Still, hearing about top free agents looking at Boston for a landing spot is a good sign for the future.

*All stats courtesy of

C.J Maffris is a writer for He believes that the Celtics should try to sign Monroe and a top-tier free agent. Feel free to debate with him on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris

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