Unfortunately, Monroe the basketball player also had to go to Phoenix.
Fortunately, he’s getting freed.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Suns (17-34) are freefalling toward a high draft pick. They have no use for the 27-year-old Monroe, who can help a team ready to win now.
Monroe is a polished interior scorer and good rebounder. He’s an underwhelming defender, but guards well enough when locked in.
Not many teams need a center. On the other hand, Monroe is far better than most post-buyout free agents.
At one point, the Celtics looked like an obvious fit. But Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis have outperformed expectations, and it gets easier every year for Al Horford to play center as the NBA gets smaller. Still, Monroe would add a strong offensive option, and Boston could use the $8,406,000 Gordon Hayward Disabled Player Exception to separate itself from other suitors.
The timing of the buyout is curious. The Suns have nearly $9 million in cap room. So, it’s unlikely they’d need Monroe’s $17,884,176 salary to facilitate a trade before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. But why not wait another week to buy him out just in case?
Monroe is due $7,072,838 the rest of the season. Maybe he relinquished a little more of that now than he would have Feb. 9. The Celtics could also use the Hayward DPE to trade for a player in the final year of his contract, and if Monroe believes Boston would sign him, perhaps he didn’t want to risk a trade undermining that plan.