The year was 2010 and the NBA was still in its transition away from traditional big men that would eventually leave Monroe out in the cold.
Monroe had five productive seasons for the Detroit Pistons and was one of the most consistent bigs in the game during that period. In his best season he averaged 16 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals, numbers similar to what Mason Plumlee put up this year in Detroit.
Monroe is still only 30-years-old, can shoot, is skilled with the ball and has good hands, so the question is why he can’t get a job in the NBA.
I understand that the league has gone away from the post game in which Monroe excelled. Teams also want bigs like Isaiah Stewart who can switch all over the floor, which Monroe cannot do.
But you can look around the league and see third centers that fit this same description, so it is somewhat surprising that Monroe can’t at least get a job as a 3rd center.
Is he any worse defensively than Jahlil Okafor? It really makes no sense. It’s almost like Greg Monroe has been blackballed from the NBA, as there are 3rd centers in the league who aren’t as skilled and are still finding work.
So where is Greg Monroe now?
Detroit Pistons: Where is Greg Monroe now?
After his five seasons with the Pistons, things started to go downhill for Monroe. Just before his free agency he got a DUI and earned a suspension from the league before signing a 3 year/$50 million deal with the Bucks.
Monroe was mostly a bench player for the Bucks and had some big games but this is definitely when he started to be phased out of the modern game, as his minutes and numbers continued to decline.
He bounced around to four different teams before being unable to secure a job in the NBA and being forced into the German league.
Monroe was last seen playing for Khimki Moscow in the 2020-21 season and is reportedly still looking for work in the league.
Monroe is one of the more interesting casualties of the “stretch” era, as he was always a good passer and creator as a center and has a savvy offensive game for a big, but because he can’t shoot 3’s or switch on perimeter, the game has passed him by.
I still feel like Monroe could be a 3rd center for someone and it is surprising that some team hasn’t at least given him a shot.