With the season already down to its last 10 games, NBA GMs have their minds set on the NBA Playoffs. But for those teams that will be counting ping pong balls instead of playoff victories, the upcoming NBA Draft has many intriguing prospects that need to be recognized. So with March Madness wrapping up, Dime contributor Lucas Shapiro continues profiling players and giving them a team that would best fit their talent. Last week was Wake Forest’s Al-Farouq Aminu, so now we’re on to Georgetown’s Greg Monroe.
Player Comparisons: Chris Webber, Lamar Odom and Brad Miller
If you have ever watched Greg Monroe play, you’ll notice that he has an awkward style. He’s not going to kill you with his athleticism. While he is good at running the floor for a big man (6-10, 247 pounds), there is nothing to get excited about in terms of his athleticism. Due to his sneakiness, those with an untrained eye would call Monroe a stiff. Although his movement and strength need improvement, Monroe has great hand-eye coordination for his size. This enables him to be a nontraditional big man, something NBA teams have grown to like more and more as the game continues to change yearly.
Whenever a lefty big man with great fundamentals comes around, every team has to be intrigued. Monroe’s rare court vision and shooting ability make him a rare prospect. He does not have a traditional post game, but manages to score in all the post areas effortlessly. Just wait until the NBA Draft Combine to see Monroe’s full skill set put on display, since he has been limited within the offense at Georgetown. If Monroe can develop a better right hand and limit his turnovers, he could be an unstoppable offensive threat. On the defensive end, he shows good shot-blocking ability, but he needs to continue to improve. He needs to be more physical against stronger post players. His rebounding is much improved and he should be a solid defensive rebounder in the League.
Monroe’s decision to stay at Georgetown for an extra year was a smart one. His improvement was clear from his freshman year to his sophomore year, as his scoring average went up 3.4 points and his rebounding average went up by 3.1 boards. Although Monroe is often described as soft, the Big East has been known to toughen up its players. Charlie Villanueva was also questioned for being soft in college, and he was made ready for the NBA at UConn. Georgetown specifically is also great at preparing big men for the League as well. Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Roy Hibbert had no issues adjusting to the style of play at the professional level. If Monroe lands on the right team, many experts could pick him for Rookie of the Year since he’s one of the most NBA ready prospects in his class.
For some reason, Monroe does not seem to take over games like he should. It could simply be that he’s too worried to turn the ball over. He has fairly limited potential due to his lack of athleticism, but he still can become a star. With a 7-2 wingspan, Monroe also has potential to improve on the defensive end and become a solid overall player – face-up power forwards are the latest trend and Monroe is one of the best available in this Draft. He will need to be more focused since we did see him lose focus against Ohio in the NCAA Tournament. This kind of laziness and complacency scares general managers and it cannot continue. He has become a better worker throughout college, but he still needs to keep showing steady improvement.
Best Fit: Milwaukee Bucks*
Is there a better fit for Monroe than the Milwaukee Bucks? A Brandon Jennings-Greg Monroe duo would be similar to a Brandon Roy–LaMarcus Aldridge duo in Portland. Jennings could be the flashy guard while Monroe could be the quiet and versatile big man. This team does not have a pure face-up power forward. We thought that Hakim Warrick could have been that guy, but he was shipped to Chicago before the trade deadline. Scott Skiles can toughen him up due to his old school coaching style. Monroe would also benefit Andrew Bogut with his great passing. The Bucks would love to add this different look to their offense, as it could be the last piece to make them a contender.
*The Bucks have the option to switch their pick with the Chicago Bulls.
Runner-Up: Utah Jazz
Carlos Boozer has never been known as the loyal type. They will need to add one more big man with Boozer possibly gone. In the event that he does leave, Monroe would fit in well in Utah. Jerry Sloan loves versatile perimeter-oriented big men, as does Deron Williams (since those are the types of players that help his assist rates go higher). Putting Monroe on a contending team would also help his focus problems. If he were to land on a losing team, his development may never be able to reach his star potential.
What do you think?
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