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Toronto Raptors

Raptors’ veteran Greg Monroe enjoying Toronto despite limited playing time

#Greg Monroe

After an eventful season that saw him traded, bought out and come within minutes of reaching the NBA Finals, Greg Monroe entered the offseason searching for another opportunity to win.

Monroe, 28, signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors in the summer, joining a team that had just set a franchise-record 59 regular season wins. Monroe's potential role in Toronto was unclear when he signed and thus far, it remains the case.

The seventh overall pick from the 2010 NBA Draft has appeared in just 11 games, averaging 3.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 7.3 minutes per game - all career-lows. However, Monroe is playing for his fourth team in the last year and given Toronto's league-best 23-9 record, he found his chance to win.

"My favourite team is the team I'm on," Monroe told NBA.com. "But talent-wise, it's the best [team] I've been on, talent-wise for sure. Top to bottom, this is probably the best team I've [ever] been on."

Monroe averaged 10.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 51 games last season between the Bucks, Suns and Celtics. He was traded from Milwaukee to Phoenix as part of the Eric Bledsoe deal last November, bought out in February and joined first-place Boston shortly thereafter.

While the 6-foot-10, 265-pounder has always been a capable scorer, his defensive shortcomings have limited him -- especially as the center position has become more athletic. However, Monroe averaged a double-double as recently as the 2014-15 and has been a starter most of his career.

Mum on other opportunities this summer, Monroe shifted focus to his present situation.

"I don't get into what was discussed in the offseason," Monroe said. "Right now, I'm focused on the season, I'm here and I'm happy to be here."

In his limited action, Monroe has shown he can still be productive. On Nov. 14, in a loss to his former team, the Pistons, Monroe posted season highs in points (17), rebounds (nine) and minutes (21).

Moving forward, it's unclear how Monroe could see a significant bump in minutes excluding an injury or a trade. But if an opportunity arises, one thing is for sure to Monroe: He'll be prepared.

"Just staying ready, approaching everything the same way," Monroe said of his approach. "I prepare the same as when I was [playing full-time]. It's just something that you just don't control.

"Once I'm out there, I play the best I can play; effect the game and do what I can. That's how I look at it."

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