The New Orleans Pelicans have been desperately searchin…

The New Orleans Pelicans have been desperately searching for frontcourt help since losing fallen star DeMarcus Cousins for the season, and they may be turning to a New Orleans native to fill that role. A source confirmed on Thursday that there is mutual interest between the Pelicans and veteran forward Greg Monroe, a former Helen Cox standout, on a potential free-agent deal.

More on Greg Monroe Free Agency

Greg Monroe hit free agency on Thursday after the Phoenix Suns bought him out of the final year of his contract, which was worth $17.8 million. Landing in New Orleans would give him an opportunity to play a significant role for a team that hopes to make a return trip to the playoffs. The Pelicans are only $1.2 million below the hard cap and would likely have to make another move to free up enough cap space to sign Monroe.
Will Guillory: I can confirm the reporting out there that the Pelicans are interested in pursuing former Helen Cox standout Greg Monroe. Monroe could do a lot to bolster the New Orleans frontcourt after the loss of DeMarcus Cousins
If Monroe clears waivers, expect the New Orleans Pelicans to be interested. The Pelicans just lost center DeMarcus Cousins for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon. The Boston Celtics may also have interest. Monroe has an expiring contract worth $17.8 million.
Steve Bulpett: Celtics will definitely have interest in Greg Monroe, but key will be what's most important to him. Of logical suitors, Celts can offer most ($8.4 million DPE) and good chance at making Finals, but hearing he could be looking at greater opportunity for minutes in New Orleans.
Bobby Marks: Greg Monroe had a $17.8M cap hit and entering Wednesday had earned $10.8M with Milwaukee and Phoenix. Before the Monroe buyout, Phoenix was $8.8M below the cap and roughly $407K above the minimum salary floor.
Jeff Zillgitt: Greg Monroe had to decide on getting rest of 2017-18 salary or taking a bit of a hit and getting a chance to join a playoff team. He can be a helpful on the right team. Produces offensively/rebounding in limited minutes.
David Aldridge: Celtics obvious potential target for Greg Monroe post-buyout. Cavs have been on the hunt for a big man before the trade deadline as well.
Chris Mannix: Boston is expected to be high on Monroe's free agent list, a source familiar with Monroe's thinking told @YahooSports. A darkhorse team to watch: Oklahoma City.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Once Monroe clears waivers, he will become an unrestricted free agent. There will be significant interest league-wide in signing Monroe for balance of the season.
Gary Washburn: Look for the #Celtics to have interest in Greg Monroe, a definite post presence, can score around the rim and showed in MIL and PHX he can come off the bench. Also, would love to join winning situation.
Shams Charania: Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe plans to opt-in on his 2017-18 deal for $17.88 million, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Monroe is currently backing up John Henson and is playing well. He’s the team’s third-leading scorer at 9.3 points and grabbing 6.8 rebounds despite averaging only 19.3 minutes. Monroe is being paid $17.14 million this season and has an opt-out clause in his contract after this season. If he opts in, the Bucks would be obligated to pay him $17.88M next season.
Al Iannazzone: Knicks were first team to meet with Greg Monroe in D.C. early this morning. Bucks followed. The Lakers are scheduled to meet with him today.
Detroit Pistons free agent Greg Monroe did not include the Boston Celtics on the list of teams he’ll visit with on Wednesday, the first day of free agency. But a league source tells CSNNE.com that the Celtics are by no means eliminated from contention for the big man. A USA Today report indicated that the 6-foot-11 big man will visit with the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers within the first 24 hours of free agency.
Free agent forward-center Greg Monroe plans to meet with four teams in the first 24 hours of a free agency. The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers are on Monroe's list on day one of free agency, and there is a possibility he meets with other teams, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
When the NBA’s free-agency period begins Wednesday, New Orleanian Greg Monroe will be one of the top big men available. Monroe, an unrestricted free agent who played five years with the Detroit Pistons, joins centers Marc Gasol and DeAndre Jordan and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as those available who could most bolster a team’s frontcourt. Five teams have shown serious interest — the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. Monroe said he’ll meet with those teams this week. “I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece.”
Monroe signed Detroit’s tender offer of $5,479,933 before last season after a rookie contract of four years, $13,110,094. It was not lost on him that he may be an unrestricted free agent a year too soon. The NBA’s new nine-year, $24 billion television contract kicks in before the 2016-17 season. That will affect the type of contract Monroe signs, he said. “(He and agent David Falk) are definitely looking at all our options,” he said. “You can see the trend is everybody’s taking shorter deals right now. So, most likely, I might take that route, too, and when the new deal kicks in, get a longer-term contract. I’m looking at a two-year deal plus an option” to become a free agent.
On the Monroe front, the specific date of the Knicks’ meeting with the Pistons' big man is unclear at this point. Monroe is believed to be high on the Knicks’ list of free agents they’d like to pursue. Pistons president and head coach Stan Van Gundy has said it is unlikely that Monroe returns to Detroit.
Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower spoke to the media today about the upcoming NBA draft, but it was perhaps a comment about Greg Monroe that was most newsworthy. Van Gundy admitted he was "not entirely optimistic" about bringing Monroe back to Detroit as an unrestricted free agent.
However, Ilyasova could be the Pistons’ full-time starter as veteran Greg Monroe will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. There is strong speculation Monroe will sign with either New York or Boston.
The Pistons' acquisition of Ersan Ilyasova from the Bucks signals strongly that Detroit anticipates losing restricted free agent Greg Monroe this summer. Ilyasova is a better complement to Andre Drummond, and Monroe will command a max offer sheet starting at about $15 million. The Knicks are one of the teams known to have Monroe on their radar.
Storyline: Greg Monroe Free Agency
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