As the NBA Free Agency period dies down, the Atlanta Hawks seem to be focused more on training camp rather than adding to their roster.
There were many rumors about the Hawks’ potential free agent targets, but, as the big dominoes of free agency began to fall and after the team made some signings of their own, the buzz faded around big names Atlanta wanted to bring in and rumors appear to have come to a standstill.
While there haven’t been many stories on the Hawks expressing interest in specific free agents in the past few days, the team still has the cap room to bring in a middle-to-top-tier player.
Enter Greg Monroe.
Bryant Knox of Bleacher Report states that the question of whether the Hawks should or should not pursue Greg Monroe is the most critical question they should address before the start of the 2014-15 NBA Season, and I agree.
Atlanta has cap room, and while it may not be enough to sign Monroe, they also have a multitude of assets in the form of players who significantly outperform their contracts.
Although many Hawks fans believe the best use for the team’s cap room is towards a small forward, the Hawks have yet to find their man. They struck out on Luol Deng and the belief is that they will hold on to the money for next free agency.
Atlanta has been looking for a big name to bring in from free agency this year but have not been able to acquire one. They have been holding onto their money in the hopes that one day, one year, they will be able to pull in a big time free agent.
This is why the Hawks should pursue Greg Monroe.
Not only is Monroe one of the biggest, if not the biggest, name still available on the market, he would fit perfectly within Atlanta’s roster.
Monroe has yet to garner much attention in free agency, which could be a hug plus for the Hawks. This could allow the team to pursue a discounted deal because the two options present for Monroe are either try and negotiate a deal elsewhere or return to the frontcourt horror in the Motor City. I’m banking on the first option being the most ideal.
The important thing to remember with Monroe is that he is a restricted free agent, meaning the Pistons have the right to match any deal given to the former Georgetown big man.
I know what you’re thinking, if Detroit can match any deal, why on earth would Monroe take a discount if potentially wants of Detroit?
Detroit knows that it has an issue in the frontcourt with former Monroe, former Hawk Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond.
Since Smith looks untradeable with his awful contract and Drummond seems to be a cornerstone for the franchise, that would make Monroe the odd man out.
However, the Pistons would be foolish to let the big man walk for nothing. They could match an offer and trade him for assets during the season if they wanted to.
This is why sign and trades are so important.
Atlanta could get their discount on Monroe if they are able to work out a deal with Detroit, giving them some of the assets they crave.
Since we worked out how Greg Monroe could come to Atlanta lets talk about his fit.
Yes, the Hawks have a massive log-jam down low, which seems to only be becoming worse with so many talented big men. However, if Atlanta gives up some of these pieces for Monroe, this pain could be alleviated.
Fit-wise Monroe is great. The eternal question of transitioning Horford to power forward also gets some help being answered with a move like this. At 6-foot-11, Monroe has a lot of size. Want to try Horford at power forward? Go for it. Think he’s a center? That works too since Monroe has experience playing the 4 position.
Monroe also has a boat-load of talent. Atlanta’s offense is predicated on ball movement, and Monroe would help immediately in that department.
Although Monroe’s statistics fell off in the previous season, most likely because of the addition of Smith, he is still young and has a chance to put up the excellent numbers he did in the ’12-’13 season again or even improve on them. In that season, Monroe averaged 3.5 assists, a pretty nice number for a big man.
The last question in this equation left to answer is what about Paul Millsap.
Millsap is probably the biggest deterrent to this deal and I wouldn’t blame Hawks GM Danny Ferry if he didn’t pull the trigger on a deal because of Millsap.
Millsap was excellent for Atlanta last year. Even though the frontcourt was undersized, he and Horford played well together thanks to their ability to spread the floor.
Ferry would be faced with the question of picking between a certainty and an uncertainty, and with the way Ferry has acted in the past, one would expect him to stick with Millsap.
Greg Monroe is definitely an intriguing option for the Hawks with his size, name recognition, and ability to spread the floor and score. He would make a great addition to an Atlanta team that seems as though they are striking out with top tier free agents.
However, as long as Paul Millsap is in the fold, Greg Monroe will probably not be an Atlanta Hawk.
With Millsap a being strictly a power forward, it would be tough to see Monroe agreeing to deal with Atlanta as long as the 4 slot on the Hawks is full.
Monroe wouldn’t like a repeat of last season, and with that, the chances are slim of him being pursued by Atlanta. Don’t expect him to be a Hawk unless Millsap is moved.
Should the Hawks pursue Monroe? Tell us in the comments below!