WASHINGTON – It’s official now.
The Celtics filled their 15th roster spot with the addition of 6-foot-11 center Greg Monroe, the team announced Thursday, moments after the 3 p.m. EST trade deadline.
Boston had come to terms on a one-year, $5 million deal with Monroe shortly after he became available after being waived by Phoenix, but did not make the deal official until today to maximize their trade flexibility.
Unable to strike a deal via trade, Boston now has the NBA-maximum 15 players on their roster.
But if they have their way, there’s still one more chip to be played.
Former Celtic Joe Johnson, 36, was traded from Utah to Sacramento, and is expected to be bought out before ever playing a game there. If that happens, he will be one of the more coveted players who teams will be looking to secure for the remainder of this season and the playoffs.
He is indeed a player of interest for the Celtics, who would have to waive a current player in order to have a roster spot available to add Johnson.
The most likely player to be waived is Abdel Nader, a former D-League (now G-League) Rookie of the Year who signed a multi-year deal with Boston but has limited guarantees each season.
As NBC Boston reported on Wednesday, Monroe flew from Boston to Washington on Wednesday morning to meet up with the Celtics in addition to getting in a good workout with the possibility being he would see his first action tonight against the Wizards.
If Monroe does play tonight, he will come off the Celtics bench. But beyond that, it remains to be seen if Stevens will turn to Monroe ahead of Aron Baynes in the starting lineup, or whether Stevens will keep things as-is, with Baynes starting and Monroe, who will wear jersey number 55, in the rotation that comes off the bench.
The main thing Monroe provides is a low-post scoring threat, something the Celtics have been lacking most of this season.
An eight-year veteran, Monroe has shot 51.4 percent from the field to go with 13.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in stints with the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.