Remember when Greg Monroe was supposed to make the Milwaukee Bucks an Eastern Conference contender? Last summer, the Bucks signed Monroe to a three-year, $50 million deal, and it felt like a validating move from a franchise that had made a big step forward the year before and historically struggled to sign big-name free agents. Monroe, though, did not fit in all that well in his first year in Milwaukee, dealt with trade rumors and missed the playoffs once again.
Now, according to the Associated Press' Michael Scotto, Monroe could be on the way out:
Sources: Bucks are shopping Greg Monroe hard. He's owed $17.1 million next season and has a $17.8 million player option for 2017-18 season.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 20, 2016
If you're looking for some post scoring, rebounding and a nice face-up game, Monroe is your man. The issue is that you need to surround him with shooting and rim protection. The whole NBA world just watched the Cleveland Cavaliers struggle to just keep Kevin Love on the floor because he was exploited defensively -- now imagine if Love didn't have 3-point range.
Monroe didn't fit next to Andre Drummond with the Detroit Pistons, and he didn't really fit alongside Milwaukee's army of rangy defenders, either. It's not his fault that he's not the kind of center who can finish high-arcing alley-oops, block tons of shots and switch onto smaller defenders. These things were not always requirements for guys as skilled as Monroe, but the league has changed.
That is not to say his contract is ridiculous or the Bucks can't either make it work or find a home for him. It just means he has to be used creatively. Perhaps some other team will try to zig while others zag, acquiring him to punish smaller defenders on the inside as more and more teams try to switch everything. That's what he did for Milwaukee when it dealt the Golden State Warriors their first loss of the season back in December.