Written by: Josh Gutbrod
The hunt to land Moose Monroe has ended, with the 27 year old big agreeing on a 1 year, $5 million deal with the Boston Celtics. Playing in his 8th NBA season out of Georgetown, Monroe posts career averages of 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game with season averages of 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing sparingly for the Phoenix Suns before reaching a buyout with Phoenix on January 31st.
In Monroe, the Celtics add a starting caliber post presence to a team somewhat lacking on the inside, apart from All-Star Al Horford. The former Hoya is a blast from the past, offering rebounding and interior scoring in a very 90s NBA skillset. At 6’11” 265 lbs, Monroe also gifts Celtics coach Brad Stevens some additional versatility, and could see big minutes playing alongside Horford when facing off against some of the bigger front lines across the league.
Not to be forgotten is the matchup nightmare Monroe will pose for conference rival Cleveland, barring whatever moves the Cavaliers make themselves. The size and skill set of Monroe match exactly what types of players have eaten Cleveland alive in the paint all season long. While Cleveland has more to be worried about than simply competing with the Celtics, the latest arrival in Bean Town does not bode well for the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
If Boston was not seen as the clear favorite to win the East, it should be now. With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford leading the way, a bevy of rising talent, and now a talented veteran for the bench, the Celtics are one of a handful of teams with a legitimate shot at a championship this season. Worse yet for the rest of the Eastern Conference, the Celtics may not be done adding to their already loaded roster. General Manager Danny Ainge is a wizard with a plethora of assets at his disposal, making a major acquisition never out of the realm of possibility.