The Boston Celtics have signed center Greg Monroe to a one year, five-million-dollar contract. Monroe most recently played for the Phoenix Suns but fell out of the rotation as the rebuilding Suns wanted to test their young talent. Monroe and the Suns reached a buyout agreement earlier this week. Despite averaging just 23.3 minutes per game, the eight-year veteran posted 11.3 points and eight rebounds per game on 63% shooting. Monroe started this season with the Milwaukee Bucks but was sent to Phoenix as part of a trade for Suns guard Eric Bledsoe.

The 27-year-old Monroe will bring the Celtics something they desperately need: bench scoring. It’s no secret in Boston that when Kyrie Irving is not on the floor, the Celtics struggle to score. With Irving on the court, the Celtics are +5.5 in point differential, but without him, opponents outscore Boston by 0.3 points. The efficiency also drops – with Irving playing, the field goal percentage is 46.7, and without Irving, it drops to 41.5%. Monroe figures to help solve, or at least address, this problem.

Monroe has averaged over 15 points per game in five of his eight career seasons. The other three? His rookie year (9.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg), and the last two seasons with Milwaukee and Phoenix where the teams have gone in different directions in the frontcourt. The 6’11” center boasts a polished post game and a decent midrange jumper. The southpaw is also solid from the charity stripe – his career free throw percentage is just over 70.

Check out this play from 2012-13, a career year for Monroe. He averaged a career-high 16 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game, and a career-best 3.5 assists per game. On this night, Monroe posted 35 points, a career best at the time. Even more impressively, he did it on Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, a well-respected interior defender. On this play, Monroe receives the pass at the left elbow. He jabs on Valanciunas and drives baseline. He spins into a double team, ball fakes, and ducks back to the baseline, finishing off glass with his left hand. Boston fans may recognize this move from Celtics legend Kevin McHale.

Boston did not guarantee Monroe playing time, but he will likely be a key piece off the bench. Starting center Aron Baynes is too good defensively to be replaced so Monroe will likely jockey for minutes with defensive specialist Daniel Theis. Theis has become a key rotation player thanks to his interior defense and his ability to excel at doing the little things on offense like setting screens and knocking down midrange jump shots. It will be interesting to see how head coach Brad Stevens manages the frontcourt minutes between Al Horford, Marcus Morris, Theis, and Monroe.

Another skill Monroe will bring to Boston is rebounding. Monroe has averaged nearly nine rebounds per game for his career, including almost three offensive boards per game. Boston is tied for ninth in total rebounds in the NBA but drops to 21st in offensive rebounds.

Greg Monroe is a great pickup for Boston. It’ll be up to Brad Stevens to work out the minutes in the frontcourt, but by playoff time, expect Monroe to be an integral part of the Boston rotation.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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