On Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks gave restricted free agent Miles Plumlee a four-year $52 million contract. The same Miles Plumlee that appeared in 61 games last season, starting 14, and averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.3 minutes for the Bucks. It was certainly a shock to see such a little used player get such a large contract extension, but such is the state of the NBA right now.
The Plumlee signing, along with the presence of John Henson and the offseason additions of Thon Maker through the draft and Mirza Teletovic through free agency, has the Bucks looking to trade Greg Monroe. Monroe was Milwaukee’s big offseason signing during the 2015 offseason, and while Greg averaged 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds, both right around his career averages of 14.5 and 9.1, the Bucks finished a disappointing 33-49.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) July 19, 2016
Despite his numbers, Monroe just never really gelled in the Bucks’ system, which eventually forced head coach Jason Kidd to move Greg and Michael Carter-Williams to the bench. Kidd then moved small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to the point and the Greek star flourished running the show as he finished the season with averages of 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.
The Bucks plan to roll with the same system during the 2016-17 season with Antetokounmpo running the show, which means it’s unlikely that Kidd would start Greg Monroe at center. Greg is a back-to-the-basket type big man, and Milwaukee seems to want to get out and run with the additions of Teletovic, Maker, and Matthew Dellavedova.
Milwaukee’s willingness to part with Monroe also has a financial aspect to it as well, as Greg is due to make $17.1 million during the 2016-17 season and has a player option for $17.8 million in 2017-18. If Kidd’s plans are to bring Monroe off the bench anyways this season, then why not try to get something for Greg before he likely chooses to opt out next season anyways?
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 19, 2016
According to Sam Amico, an NBA analyst for Fox Sports Ohio and founder of AmicoHoops.net, the San Antonio Spurs are one team that has contacted the Bucks about Greg Monroe. The Spurs lost Tim Duncan to retirement, traded Boris Diaw and Boban Marjanovic to free agency this offseason and could be in the market for an upgrade in the frontcourt.
That being said, a trade for Monroe would seem to be an awfully expensive option for the Spurs who would likely bring Greg off the bench anyways. San Antonio has LaMarcus Aldridge entrenched as the starter at power forward and the front office went out and signed Pau Gasol away from the Chicago Bulls in free agency.
With Aldridge and Gasol expected to be the Spurs’ starting frontcourt on opening night, $17.1 million is a lot to pay Monroe to be a backup, no matter how inflated the market looks. San Antonio also went out and signed Dewayne Dedmon from the Orlando Magic to provide some depth up front. The Spurs are likely still in the market for a power forward, but Greg Monroe doesn’t seem like the most logical option.
One trade partner that would make a lot of sense for the Bucks in terms of Monroe would be the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis desperately needs a center next to him that provides more than Omer Asik and Greg would certainly provide that. The Pelicans could then trot out a starting lineup of Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Alonzo Gee, Davis, and Monroe, then still be able to bring Buddy Hield off the bench. That’s a playoff lineup.
Greg Monroe would make a significant impact on a number of teams, but the San Antonio Spurs wouldn’t be one of them.
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