The Story: Greg Monroe plans to sign with the Boston Celtics on Friday, per ESPN, after being waived by the Phoenix Suns the day before.
The Importance: In November, the Suns acquired Monroe as part of the trade that sent Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee. The 27-year-old big man played only 20 games in Phoenix before he and the front office agreed to a buyout.
Multiple playoff teams, including New Orleans, which is desperate for frontcourt backup after DeMarcus Cousins’s season-ending Achilles tear, immediately showed interest in Monroe.
According to the ESPN report, the Pelicans assured Monroe that he would have the starting center spot. With the Celtics, no such guarantee was made; Aron Baynes has started seven of Boston’s past eight games in the frontcourt alongside Al Horford.
The Takeaway: Danny Ainge and the C’s have officially created a destination for ring chasers. This is no knock on Monroe, who could also see value in Brad Stevens’s magical abilities to bring out the best in his players. But it also means that he wants to win, which Boston has done this season. A lot.
Monroe averaged 11.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and a measly 0.3 blocks with the Suns. As a poor rim protector but solid back-to-the-basket option, he will most likely be used as a scorer in Boston’s second unit. It’s been tough for Monroe to find a good fit on other teams recently, but he likely won’t have to worry about his functionality on the Celtics: A lineup crafted by Stevens always finds a way.