Toronto Raptors: Sign Greg Monroe; Add A 3rd Star
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff..
I recently wrote an article on 5 moves the Toronto Raptors can make to become potential NBA Title contenders and after thewell known need for them to resign star point guard Kyle Lowry, the next biggest move was to sign restricted free agent Greg Monroe. I only explained it in about 150 words, so I thought I would take the opportunity to show why he is a perfect fit.
All Star caliber big men who are restricted free agents are rarely sign-able for NBA teams, but because the Detroit Pistons’ best player is center Andre Drummond, who will receive a max contract probably next offseason and their most expensive player is power forward Josh Smith, who is untradeable and was a big failure on the perimeter this season, they cannot afford to sign another big man to a contract of at least 10 million and keep Smith on the perimeter. Therefore the Raptors should come into the mix and sign Monroe to a contract for 4 seasons and 44 million dollars, because there is an excellent chance that the Pistons won’t match.
What would Monroe bring to the Raptors? 1st is a go-to big man scorer, who will score 16-19 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas is a very talented young center, but he isn’t a go-to big man option in the NBA. He is an excellent rebounder, he is a very capable scorer and defender and is a strong hustle player, but scoring 16 points or more is a lot to ask from him, especially as he hasn’t even averaged 12 points per game in the NBA. Monroe scored 15.2 points per game this season, but Josh Smith’s inclusion in the rotation was a big reason why and he only played 32.8 minutes per game. Regardless, Monroe has the talent to score at least 18 points per game if he is given the chance. Monroe is also an excellent rebounder, averaging at least 9.3 rebounds the previous 3 seasons and a very gifted playmaker, as he averaged 3.5 assists per game during his best season (coincidentally, when he was the 1st option and Josh Smith was in Atlanta).
How would he fit on the Raptors? He would slide right into the starting power forward spot and give them a 2nd or 3rd option offensively, teaming with All Star DeMar DeRozan and star point guard Kyle Lowry. He would team with Valanciunas to give them elite rebounding in their frontcourt, a player who can hit a mid range shot or score in the paint and someone who they can run their offense through. He is a versatile and very talented big man on offense and would take the Raptors’ offense to a new level. Still only 23, he would team with DeRozan (24), Valanciunas (22) and Lowry (28), assuming they resign him, to give them a young and ridiculously talented Big 4.