As the Milwaukee Bucks look for salary cap room, center Greg Monroe may finally be traded.
The Milwaukee Bucks have a bright future, led by “The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo. But they are up against the salary cap right now, due in equal part to player options picked up by Greg Monroe and Spencer Hawes and a reported agreement on a four-year, $46 million deal with Tony Snell.
Monroe moved into a bench role in 2016-17, playing 81 games (zero starts) and averaging 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game over a career-low 22.5 minutes per contest. But he is still inexplicably incapable of blocking shots (0.5 per game last season), and he is a now archaic strictly low-post big man with no ability to stretch the floor (four three-point attempts all season).
Trade rumors have surrounded Monroe off and on since last offseason. As a new NBA league year gets rolling this weekend, the Bucks may be ramping up their effort to move him.
Last week, Monroe made a no-brainer decision to pick up up his $17.88 million player option for next season. There’s no way he would have found that kind of payday on the open market, and he’s now a very expensive bench player for the Bucks. If they have plans to add any worthwhile pieces in free agency, freeing up that nearly $18 million will help.
Monroe proved he can still be a valuable player last season, particularly with a 17.3 percent assist rate and +3.8 plus/minus per 100 possessions . If he can’t shoot from beyond the arc himself, keeping the ball moving and passing out of double teams to those who can is a vital skill for his future in the league.
Exactly what the Bucks and new general manager Jon Horst would like to get for Monroe is unclear. But getting a future draft pick just to shed his salary might be enough.