According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, veteran center Greg Monroe plans to sign with the Boston Celtics. The deal is reportedly a one-year contract worth $5 million.
Monroe was also being pursued by the New Orleans Pelicans after reaching a buyout with his now-former team, the Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans were offering Monroe the starting center position following the season-ending Achilles injury sustained by DeMarcus Cousins. However, they could only offer Monroe a deal worth $2.2 million, so it seems that Monroe has chosen the chance to play for a contender.
The Celtics will be the third team Monroe has played for this season. Monroe began the season as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, where he had been the previous two seasons. While playing adequately for the Bucks, Monroe’s playing time and productivity had been decreasing since his arrival in Milwaukee in 2015.
In 2015, Monroe averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game in 29 minutes of action, but he had been reduced to six points and five rebounds per game in only 15 minutes on the court this year.
Monroe was then involved in a trade that sent him to the Phoenix Suns for Eric Bledsoe, where he found consistent playing time and even started 14 games for the Suns while posting 11 points and eight rebounds per game. However, due to Monroe’s large contract and the Suns’ current rebuild, he and the Phoenix front-office reached a buyout agreement on January 31st, 2018.
After reaching the agreement, Monroe was immediately courted by several teams, mostly by the Pelicans and Celtics. After Cousins injury and trading away backup big-man Omer Asik to the Bulls to acquire Nikola Mirotic, the Pelicans were hoping they could acquire Monroe’s services.
Instead, Monroe ultimately decided to sign with the Celtics. While Boston’s starting front-court is full (the Celtics have regularly started All-Star center Al Horford with either Marcus Morris or Jayson Tatum), it seems like Monroe will have a role with the second unit. Backup big man Aaron Baynes has been serviceable, but Monroe will be an immediate upgrade.
The Celtics will probably be without Monroe tonight when they take on the Atlanta Hawks, and he will probably get situated with the team before Sunday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.