When Greg Monroe signed a 3-year 50 million dollar deal with the Bucks back in 2015, I was ecstatic. He was a big name player that I thought was going to be an 18 point, 12 rebound per game guy. He was a solid piece for Milwaukee but wasn’t producing the way a 50 million dollar contract guy should. He played in 165 games (started 67) for Milwaukee and averaged 25.6 minutes per game. He also averaged 13.3 points per game (53% from the field), 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. Good numbers, but in Monroe’s tenure with the Bucks, the team needed a point guard. Milwaukee traded Monroe last season after 5 games to the Phoenix Suns along with draft picks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe.
This is when most Bucks fans stopped following Greg Monroe and his career. For the Suns, he only played in 20 games while starting 14 of them. In 23.3 minutes per game he averaged 11.3 points (on 63% shooting), 8.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He was a solid piece at center for Phoenix but got in the way of their rebuilding process. The Suns ended up buying him out and Monroe was free to sign anywhere he wanted. This is where the Boston Celtics came into play.
In February of last season, Greg Monroe signed a “rest of the year” 5 million dollar deal with Boston. His usage rate went down with one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He played 26 games for Boston but didn’t start any of them like he did with Phoenix. He averaged 19.1 minutes, 10.2 points (53% from the floor), 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Even with a lower usage rate, Monroe was used in the playoffs as an energy guy for the Celtics. However, he didn’t make much of an impact by playing in 11 games while only getting around 9.5 minutes in each. He averaged a low 4.8 points per game (50% shooting), 3.2 rebounds, and 0.5 assists. When the playoffs ended for the Boston Celtics they decided they didn’t need a player like Greg Monroe moving forward and let him test the market as a free agent. Greg Monroe played for 3 teams in the 2017-18 season and none of them wanted to keep him.
A couple months went by throughout the summer and it looked like Monroe was not going to be on a team to start this season. Instead, the Toronto Raptors came into the picture and signed Greg on a 1-year 2.2 million dollar deal. Now after a 6-0 start for Toronto, Monroe has only played in 1 game for 4 minutes.
The NBA has turned into a small ball league and that has left players like Greg Monroe in the past. NBA teams want their bigs to be able to move well, guard multiple positions, and defend the rim. Monroe does neither of those things. While gifted offensively, Monroe’s game is outdated as he can’t extend his range past the free throw line. Teams don’t need a black hole in the paint that doesn’t add much more than a few layups, a few lefty hooks, and a few dunks each game. Greg Monroe went from free agent star in 2015 to borderline roster maker in 2018. What a far fall from grace it has been for him since being traded out of Milwaukee.
*Stats according to baseketball-reference.com*
*Stats accurate as of 12:15 p.m. (CT) on 10/27/18*