Few expected center Greg Monroe to get meaningful playing time with the Phoenix Suns. Monroe, the new Phoenix Suns’ big has not only appeared in his share of games, but he is producing. Greg Monroe could be playing himself in the Phoenix Suns’ plans quietly with a couple of strong performances.
The Phoenix Suns acquired Greg Monroe in their NBA trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was considered an afterthought when the Suns dealt beleaguered guard Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks, according to ESPN.
The two draft picks — one first-rounder and a second, was considered a haul for the Suns. Not to dismiss Greg Monroe, however, he was viewed as a throw-in in the Suns’ trade with the Bucks.
In the eyes of many, the Milwaukee Bucks received the star player. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns took future pieces to build upon, and the conversation was about the prospects of the Suns moving Monroe immediately, Hoops Hype reported.
After not appearing in a game since he joined the Suns, Greg Monroe has played in the last four. He started three of those contests. Monroe rewarded the Suns by averaging 14.5 points and 8.7 rebounds during that stretch. Monroe’s strong play has made the Suns’ trade of Eric Bledsoe easier to stomach. Monroe is also making it easier for the Suns to trade center Tyson Chandler, by proving that he can be a suitable replacement.
The Suns hosted the Bucks last Wednesday. Both teams had the opportunity to showcase what each of them received in the trade. Eric Bledsoe had a phenomenal game, scoring 30 points against his former club. Bledsoe also added seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. The Bucks went on to defeat the Suns, but Phoenix forced them into overtime in the 113-107 loss.
Greg Monroe had a terrific outing himself for the Suns. Monroe put up 22 points and finished with a game-high of 15 rebounds.
Monroe had a plus-minus of -12 for the game, which shows that he can still be a liability on the defensive end. On offense however, he is providing something that the Phoenix Suns does not have.
Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe went off on their former teams but Bledsoe gets the W in Phoenix.
Bledsoe: 30pts, 6rebs, 7asts, 2stls 7TOV, 11/26 FG, 6/13FT
Monroe: 22pts, 15rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 8/15 FG, 6/6 FT pic.twitter.com/DHzpOU2gXx
— Phoenix Suns Insider (@InsiderSuns) November 23, 2017
The Phoenix Suns have a player in Greg Monroe who can score in a multitude of ways. If the Suns need an easy basket, Monroe can score in the low post. The 6-foot-11 center can also make 18-foot jump shots, thus making opposing defenses come out of the paint to guard him.
With each game he plays in a Phoenix Suns’ uniform, Greg Monroe is showing that he wants to stick with the team. Monroe has played well as a Suns’ starter and as a reserve. While his game is not as flashy as former Suns’ star Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe has had a positive impact on the team.
Eric Bledsoe is giving the Milwaukee Bucks a chance to compete for Eastern Conference supremacy. Greg Monroe is helping the Phoenix Suns become a respectable team, which is where the franchise wanted to be as they continue their ongoing rebuilding process.
Monroe’s play is only a small sample size, but it has been consistent with his performances throughout his NBA career.
If Greg Monroe can continue to average 14.5 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns, the soon-to-be free agent may play himself into the Suns’ future plans. Doing so would put all of the NBA trade rumors, such as the Phoenix Suns dealing Monroe to the Cleveland Cavaliers to rest, according to Bleacher Report.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]