Welcome to a new short series of posts on the site, Lakers: Targets. Within this series, I’ll be taking a look at some of the potential acquisitions that the Lakers could make this off-season and analyse their benefits to the team. Here’s the first instalment where I’ll be looking at Greg Monroe and what he could bring to the roster.
Amidst a season of injuries, inconsistency and heartbreak for the Lakers, there remains a shining light at the end of the tunnel. Whilst this tunnel is long, dark and filled with hate, the team continues their trip with their heads down. This ultimate goal is the future. Although the team are in a tricky position now, they will find the fruits of their labour in both this year’s draft and next year’s free agency market. However, just that won’t do. Whilst nobody expects the Lakers to challenge for the championship next season, they should certainly look to improve the team this off-season as another year of “not tanking, not winning” will not be acceptable in many fans eyes. In this feature, we’ll take a look at some of the potential targets for the Lakers in the free agency market this year, what they may bring to the team and how they’ll help the franchise rebuild for the future.
One possible player that the Lakers could peruse this summer is Greg Monroe, the 6”11 power forward/center who enters the market as a restricted agent. The talented big man has flourished so far in his NBA career and he had a career high season last year in points/blocks/steals/assists per game. Although his numbers have somewhat stalled this year, he is still able to couple his excellent passing game with an effective scoring ability and a good eye for rebounds. This season, Monroe is shooting 50.5% from the field, averaging 14.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg. Whilst the numbers aren’t other worldly, it is also important to consider that the main bearer of the load in the front court at Detroit is indeed Andre Drummond so Greg’s numbers are impressive considering that he’s largely a supplementary part to Andre’s game.
After the (surely?) impending departure of Pau Gasol, the team will need a dominant scorer in the front court to go to for inside efficiency and whilst he isn’t the best player in his position, he’s certainly worth the money that will be spent on him. If he can continue the general trend of development that he’s been showing, he could certainly be an effective power forward or center in a challenging Lakers assembly. However, the team face competition. Interest for Monroe is thought to be high from the Washington Wizards who will look to pair him with Marcin Gortat next year in their front court. Whilst a trade is possible, the front office will have to move fast and efficiently if they hope to land Greg this off-season. Whilst he may not currently be playing at an All-Star level, Monroe is a highly underrated and efficient player who would make any team’s frontcourt a threat with both his scoring and rebounding abilities. In a Pau-less roster, he would be a much needed building block for an area that is going to need considerable rebuilding.