Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg is interested in signing former NBA big man Greg Monroe for the 2020/21 season, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops, who tweets that there are “ongoing talks” between the two sides.
Varlas suggests that Monroe is still considering both NBA and international options, with Zenit looking like one of the strongest contenders to sign him if he continues his career overseas. Monroe, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, spent the 2019/20 campaign with Bayern Munich in Germany after nine years in the NBA.
Players like Monroe, who may prefer to seek an NBA deal, are in a tough spot, since European clubs are filling their rosters now while the NBA’s free agency period won’t begin for another three months. Some players with NBA aspirations may decide it’s not worth the risk to wait until the fall.
Here are a few more international updates on players with NBA experience:
- If Monroe ends up joining Zenit St. Petersburg, he’ll join another former NBA big man in the frontcourt — Zenit announced on Monday (via Twitter) that Alex Poythress has reached a one-year deal with the team. Poythress previously appeared in 52 NBA games for Philadelphia, Indiana, and Atlanta from 2017-19.
- Turkish team Fenerbache has agreed to a one-year contract with veteran point guard Lorenzo Brown, according to a press release. Brown has played in a total of 103 NBA regular season games since making his debut in 2013, making 26 appearances in 2018/19 for the eventual-champion Raptors before being waived last January.
- Veteran big man Joffrey Lauvergne, who suited up for the Nuggets, Thunder, Bulls, and Spurs from 2014-18, has signed a one-year deal with Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando). The Frenchman returned to Europe after his contract with San Antonio expired in 2018, spending the last two seasons with Fenerbahce.