With the 7th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select, Greg Monroe, Georgetown University. The big man averaged 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in his sophomore season before entering the draft. He has consistently averaged 15-16 points and 9-11 rebounds per game the last four seasons.
Monroe enters the 2015 offseason as an unrestricted free agent. With Andre Drummond already on the roster, the Pistons had two monsters down low that play the same role. They both clog the lane and never take three point shots. In today’s NBA, teams need to be able to stretch the floor to compete with the leagues high powered offenses. Earlier this week, the Pistons dealt Caron Butler and Shawne Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova is a stretch four who is a career 37% shooter from the three point line. He will be a better fit next to Andre Drummond which ensured Monroe will not be back in the Motor City.
Monroe is a young center who will draw interest around the NBA. According to Zack Cox of NESN.com, Monroe will “likely” sign with one of two rival teams: The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. The Celtics and Knicks have been the most heated rivals in the Eastern Conference since the NBA started. He makes sense for both teams.
Why he makes sense for the Celtics:
The Boston Celtics are a young team and Greg Monroe is a young center. After watching the first round matchup between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA playoffs, the Celtics need a serious upgrade at the center position. The Celtics currently have Jared Sullinger playing center on the Celtics small lineup. With Monroe in the starting lineup, Sullinger would move back to the four which is his natural position. The Celtics will also be looking to upgrade at the four if they opportunity presents itself this offseason.
The advantage the Celtics have over the Knicks is coaching. Brad Stevens is a players coach who knows he will be in Boston for years to come. He out-coached his opponents and led a young and inexperienced Celtics team to the playoffs. Before Boston, Stevens led Butler University to two consecutive National Championship appearances. Since Butler isn’t a powerhouse program, he has been coaching average players his whole life. Stevens can coach anyone and players seem to love to play for him. If Stevens started coaching better talent, the Celtics could be deadly.
Why he makes sense for the Knicks:
The New York Knicks were the second worst rebounding team in the NBA last season. Since they were the losers of the NBA Draft Lottery, the Knicks will not be able to draft a star big man prospect with the #4 pick of the draft. They have to address the center position via free agency. Any center is an upgrade for the Knicks because they don’t have a center under contract for next season.
The advantage the Knicks have over the Celtics is Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson. Carmelo Anthony is the franchise player on the Knicks and is a star in the NBA. Phil Jackson is historically successful around the NBA and has a nice collection of rings to back it up. With an early pick in the 2015 NBA draft, the Knicks have the ability to acquire another young player, trade back, or trade for another star. Monroe has already expressed interest in playing for the New York Knicks.
Since it’s Boston and New York, the fight to get Monroe will be heated. Both teams hate each other with a passion and are in desperate need for a center. Both the Knicks and Celtics have money to spend so it will eventually come down to Monroe. Monroe can’t go wrong with either option in the long run. With or without Monroe, it won’t be long until the Celtics and Knicks are contenders again.