NBA trade rumors involving Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker have been refuted by the Milwaukee Bucks. Quite a few NBA trade rumors had linked Monroe or Parker to other teams this season, but a report from CBS Sports on Monday, February 15, contradicts that chatter. This is big news, especially to Bucks fans, because it means the team isn’t ready to do a complete rebuild again.
Greg Monroe is in his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks after signing a three-year free agent deal. While the team has struggled since the signing, giving birth to a lot of NBA trade rumors, the front office in Milwaukee isn’t looking to part with him (yet). Monroe makes about $16.4 million this season, about $17.2 million next season, and then has a player option of about $17.9 million for the 2017-18 NBA season.
Jabari Parker is in his first full NBA season after missing most of his rookie year due to injury. He has shown a lot of promise, but the team has control through the 2017-18 NBA season as well. After that, Parker becomes a restricted free agent, giving the Bucks first and last crack at signing him to a long-term contract. That team control is a primary reason for the team to keep him on the roster.
Other players on the roster for the Milwaukee Bucks could still get dealt before the NBA trade deadline on February 18. They include Michael Carter-Williams, OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Greivis Vasquez, and possibly one or two younger players. The hope would be to net one or two more picks in the 2016 NBA Draft to try to improve for the 2016-17 NBA season.
A primary reason that so many NBA trade rumors have been linked to the Bucks is that the team is underperforming compared to last year. Despite a two-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break, the Bucks have lost seven of their last 10 games. The team is currently at 22-32, which is the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Road woes have really brought the team down, because even though the Bucks are 15-8 at home, they are 7-24 on the road this year.
Greg Monroe is averaging 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game this season. He has done a decent job at power forward and center for the Bucks, giving the team no reason to trade him before the deadline. Jabari Parker is at 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per night. He is playing just 28.8 minutes a night in what amounts to a rookie season and the team is much better when he is on the court. In games without Parker this season, the Bucks are just 1-5.
The Bucks are in line for another lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, giving the team another opportunity to add talent to the improved roster. The team should also have money to spend in free agency, as they are pretty far under the salary cap for the 2016-17 NBA season. With core players like Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, and Giannia Antetokounmpo locked up for a while, fans should have every expectation that the team will be a threat to make the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
In the short-term, the Bucks may go through some growing pains, especially with some current problems with chemistry and game flow. If that can be addressed, it’s still possible for the Bucks to sneak into the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Milwaukee trails the eighth place Charlotte Hornets (27-26) by 5 1/2 games, so there is still time to move up with some sustained success. Though the Bucks may continue to get mentioned in the NBA trade rumors this season, it’s very likely that Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe aren’t going anywhere this year.
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