NBA Rumor: Greg Monroe Free Agency

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3 years ago via TSN

Raptors interested in Greg Monroe

With 13 players on guaranteed or partially-guaranteed deals, the Raptors are looking to fill that 14th spot with another big and have shown interest in a number of available players, including former Pistons centre , according to league sources. Monroe, one of the biggest names left on the market, wouldn’t address their most pressing frontcourt need – rim protection – but could give Toronto another experienced and gifted scorer, and some more depth, off the bench. They can use the smaller mid-level exception of up to $5.3 million to sign another player, if they choose, although they’re already projected to pay a sizeable luxury tax bix, and may decide to fill out the roster with more cost efficient options.

The Boston Celtics filled their final roster spot Thursday afternoon by signing veteran big man Greg Monroe. The acquisition of the 6-foot-11, 265-pound center should give Boston a major boost in the rebounding department, as well as a solid scoring option off the bench. “I think that’s a great pickup for us,” said Celtics forward Marcus Morris. “He’s a player who knows how to play the game. He’s been around the league awhile, so I think he’ll add to our size down low, (and add) scoring.”

No, the Cavs are not interested in Monroe. They didn’t want him when Tristan Thompson suffered his calf injury Nov. 1 (the Bucks traded Monroe six days later to Phoenix), and they’re not looking at him now that Kevin Love is out for two months. Keep in mind with any free agent, the Cavs would need to either trade a player for nothing, or waive someone (which would cost millions in luxury taxes and salaries) to sign another player.

“I think we will use that exception,” said Danny Ainge. “I’m pretty sure. Or at least a portion of it in a trade or a buyout situation before the deadline’s passed. But I’m not sure who that’s going to be yet.” But he made an important distinction. Stevens has talked about her need for more shooting and playmaking, but Ainge is not acting positionally focused at the deadline. “I think it’s more important on the player than the position right now.”

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.
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Clearly, it is not money that motivates him. “I think it’s just who I am. I’m always my toughest critic. I always just push myself to be better than what I was before. It’s kind of like I’m just competing against myself in a way. I don’t have that enemy or guy around the league that I look up to and I want to be better than. Like, ‘oh, his numbers…’ I don’t have that,” he said. “I kind of go up against myself on a nightly basis, on a yearly basis. How can I be better than what I was before? What do I need to improve on? I have just kind of always had that since I was younger. That’s always kind of stuck with me.”
There are also Beal’s free throw numbers. He’s averaging career-high attempts (8.2/g) and shooting a career-best percentage (90.2%). Just three years ago, Beal was averaging 4.5 attempts and shooting 79.1 percent. “My goal coming into this year was to be 90 [percent],” Beal said. “I tell myself every time I step up to the line, I say 90. I just say 90 to myself. I’m shooting with confidence, stepping up and then knocking them down. They’re free points.”
Coaches in the East voted on the rest of the roster. In later years, the league would give coaches the authority to fill out the roster as they saw fit, but in those days, they were still obligated to meet positional needs. Jamaal Magloire, who was averaging a double-double with New Orleans, made the one All-Star team of his career. Same for Metta Sandiford Artest (then Ron Artest) and Milwaukee guard Michael Redd. “Jamaal Magloire is an All-Star. LeBron James is not,” Hall of Fame basketball writer Marc Stein opined in a column for ESPN.com. “Nah, there’s nothing wrong with the rules the NBA uses for voting in its All-Star reserves.”