RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Greg MonroePosted by nvr1983 on June 15th, 2010
Player Name: Greg Monroe
Height/Weight: 6’11”, 247 lbs
NBA Position: Power Forward/Center
Projected Draft Position: Mid-lottery
Overview: After turning down Duke to go to Georgetown, Monroe has mostly lived up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon him as a top 10 recruit coming out of high school. He has proven to be every bit as talented as the high school recruiting experts, but questions remain about whether he has the tenacity or type of game to dominate the way you expect a superstar to. Monroe has shown the capacity to improve his game as demonstrated by his growth as a player between his freshman and sophomore year as the Hoyas often ran sets through Monroe. Although Monroe has the best skill set of any big man in the draft by a wide margin he has a lot to work on if he wants to fulfill his potential as a basketball player.
Will Translate to the NBA: Monroe will be a player that his teammates will love playing with. As soon as Monroe signs his first contract he will be one of the top 5 passing big men in the NBA. His game won’t overwhelm opposing teams, but if he is put in the right system he could flourish. In a few years he could very easily be the second or third option on a championship level contender. He isn’t the kind of player that you give the ball to with the clock running down, but he is a player who in the right situation can put you in position to win games (a lot of them). On the other hand, Monroe will frustrate fans because his passive game may be interpreted by many on the periphery as lacking the urgency his team sometimes needs. On defense Monroe will put up decent numbers because of his size and decent mobility even if he lacks the ideal NBA athleticism. He should be a decent defender, but will never make an all-defensive team. The big question will be how his game translates from the Georgetown “Princeton offense” to a more traditional NBA offense depending on where he ends up going.
Needs Work: As we have mentioned (and countless others before us) Monroe could become a little more aggressive on the offense end. While we all know the NBA could use a few more unselfish players Monroe needs to develop that “killer instinct” (a banal term for a not so banal attribute). Monroe could also use a little work in the low post. Even though he is effective with his variety of unorthodox moves inside Monroe would benefit immensely from a summer (or two or more) working with a skilled big man refining his inside game so he can play a little center too.
Comparison Players: The name you will hear thrown around the most when describing Monroe is Lamar Odom. While I can see that particularly with their build and passing ability there are some key differences namely that Monroe lacks the handle or outside shooting range that Odom has and Monroe can actually be an inside force (read: play defense) so the comparison is not a particularly useful one. Another comparison that I actually prefer is Brad Miller, another inside player with a solid passing game but not a dazzling array of other offensive skills. Miller has a nasty streak that Monroe has yet to display and Monroe has a little better handle, but otherwise their skill sets are pretty comparable.
Best Case Scenario: Monroe goes at #9 to Utah, who appears to covet him, and Monroe can develop in the perfect situation for him (see below in “Best NBA Fit”). Monroe’s ceiling is probably an occasional All-Star appearance in years that the position is weak (most likely at center). He won’t develop into a player who dominates games on a consistent basis and will never be a “20 and 10” guy on a nightly basis, but he could develop into a Brad Miller/Vlade Divac type (minus the flopping for the latter). While Monroe may lack the “killer instinct” of a Jordan or even a KG, I believe a lot of his supposed inadequacies coming into the NBA Draft were at least partially attributable to the system that Georgetown played in. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t build a franchise around him (much like Miller or Divac), but all three of them could be key players on a very good team.
2013 Projection: Unfortunately for Monroe, I doubt that he will fall to #9 where the Jazz can draft him and Monroe can develop unimpeded. I would expect that Monroe goes at #6 or #7 just behind the consensus top 5. As a result I would expect Monroe to shuffle around the 12 PPG, 6 RPG, and 4 APG marks for the first few years of his career. If he ends up playing Nellie Ball at Golden State he could exceed those numbers, but I wouldn’t count on it at least for the near term.
Best NBA Fit: Their has been a lot of talk about Monroe going to Utah at the #9 pick and this would probably be the best possible situation for him. Even though Monroe has the best passing ability of any big man in this draft and a team can run sets through him he would probably be best suited to be a secondary distributor. In the case of Utah he would have a pretty good primary ball handler to create on the offensive end in Deron Williams. Monroe and Williams could turn into an outstanding pick-and-roll combo (a homeless man’s Stockton to Malone) except this time the pick man could pass it to 4 different players instead of just tossing it back to a streaking point guard. The Utah situation becomes even more enticing as Carlos Boozer is a free agent this summer and we know he has no problem turning his back on a team. If that were to happen Monroe could be competing for a starting job on Day #1 for a contender in the Western Conference. Playing alongside Mehmet Okur would also allow Monroe to alternate at the 4 or 5 spot depending on the match-up. Basically this is the perfect situation for someone with Monroe’s strengths and weaknesses.