Let us not forget, the 76ers already have some young solid pieces in play. Michael Carter-Williams has locked down the point guard position for the foreseeable future. A healthy Nerlens Noel give you a strong presence down low with a huge amount of potential. More than likely, the Sixers will have a top 5 pick, which will more than likely be turned into one of these athletic swing men like Wiggins or Parker.
So many of the working parts for core of this team have been figured out. The question is who can compliment these young athletic players without slowing down anyone’s development? May I present the case for Greg Monroe.
It is easy to lose track of many of these college star players once they enter the NBA. I am sure you know Ricky Rubio exists and is a fine player, however ask yourself this question, have you seen him play, ever? Maybe once or twice here and there, but playing in a market like Minnesota, even with a player like Kevin Love with him, Rubio can get lost in the shuffle. Greg Monroe is a similar ball player.
Sure he didn’t have Rubio’s hype coming into the league, but Monroe was seen as one of those big man who many predicted could make a decent impact on whatever team picked him up after he left Georgetown.
Then Monroe was drafted to Detroit. Maybe not a media blackout market, but one that has been on tough times since their championship in 2004. Moral is, they haven’t been on TNT enough for Charles Barkley to make fun of them and their “Motor City” uniforms. Therefore you may not have seen Monroe play but so much over the first four years of his career. You’ve been missing out.
The man is posting a 14.0 points and 9.0 rebounds career averages. Averages that he bested this season scoring 15.2 points a game and averaging 9.3 rebounds. He is pretty much a walking double double. He is also a decent ball mover for his side. He has a career 2.3 assists per game average including a stunning night against the Thunder where he almost picked up a triple-double with nine assists.
His 6’ll” stature could help solidify the center position and allow Noel to move down to the Power Forward spot, which will be better suited for his size and skill set.
Monroe won’t come cheap. He made $4 million last year from the Pistons and is sure to command close to $10 million this off season. Though he is a restricted free agent, Detroit will have a tough time resigning the big man. The 76ers however have money bags for days and could definitely make a play for the 23-year-old. He will turn 24 this summer.
The Sixers shouldn’t move heaven and Earth to get him, however they should do more than just kick the tires. Monroe is young but experienced and should compliment this roster from day one. He is a hard worker that Brett Brown would love to teach into becoming a star. If I am the Sixers management, the moment after the Pistons let him walk, or even put him into a sign and trade deal, I am the first one picking up the phone.
Adding Greg Monroe would make this blue print for the future look even better, and make a dent in the amount of time it will take for this team to become a power.
Please let this happen.