Report: Greg Monroe signing with Raptors

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Greg Monroe – according to his agent, David Falk – had max-contract offers from the Knicks, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Bucks in 2015. Monroe reportedly could have chosen his contract length, from one to four years. He picked a three-year deal with Milwaukee.

Three years later, instead of entering the final season of a max contract, Monroe will settle for about a minimum salary.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Monroe’s minimum is $2,165,481. I bet he gets that, especially because if he gets any more, the Raptors would have to pay and be taxed at his full salary. With Monroe on a minimum deal, Toronto would have to pay and be taxed at just $1,512,601 (the league covering the rest).

Monroe is a skilled interior scorer, strong rebounder and heady passer. But has neither the leaping ability to protect the rim nor foot speed to defend on the perimeter. It’s hard to build a sound defense with him at center, and that becomes especially problematic deeper into the playoffs. Monroe – who was sent to the Suns in the Eric Bledsoe trade, got bought out then signed with the Celtics – fell out of Boston’s playoff rotation fairly quickly last season.

With Kawhi Leonard, Toronto is definitely eying more postseason success. But Monroe was also the best free agent left on the market, and the Raptors needed depth behind Jonas Valanciunas. This is a minimum (or so) signing. Toronto needn’t panic about Monroe’s role in hte postseason. He should help in the regular season and in some playoff matchups.

Monroe might even allow the Raptors to trade Jonas Valanciunas. The Raptors are reportedly looking to trim salary, and Valanciunas (two years and $34,157,302 remaining) is a logical candidate to be moved. Toronto would miss him, but Monroe provides a value version. Deep in the playoffs, Serge Ibaka might become the Raptors primary center regardless.