Okay. It was probably more about the Bucks offering him a max deal, something that New York was reportedly hesitant to do. And it was probably more about the Bucks being a more functional organization than the Lakers, which is a strange sentence to write seriously.
Whatever the case … Greg Monroe, a true center at 6-11 and 253 pounds, will be joining the Milwaukee Bucks next season. The team reportedly met with him at 2 AM on the first day of free agency and must have made a pretty positive impression on him.
Free agent Greg Monroe will sign a maximum contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Greg Monroe will sign a three-year, $50M deal with the Bucks, including the player option on the final year, sources tell Yahoo. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Monroe instantly becomes Milwaukee’s highest profile free agent acquisition since … since … it’s been a long time. Milwaukee’s market and history of mediocrity have long been too much of a burden for the Bucks to overcome on the free agent market. But the team’s developing roster, cap space, new organizational philosophies and connection to Jason Kidd seem to have changed things quite a bit.
And before you get up in arms about the words “max contract” being put together for a guy who hasn’t made an All-Star team or an All-NBA team, remember the context here. The NBA salary cap is going to rise dramatically in the next two seasons. Monroe’s deal will be a much smaller percentage of Milwaukee’s overall salary cap after each of the next two seasons. Using this money now is probably smarter than waiting and using even more money next season on potentially the same type of player.
Milwaukee acquiring a player with ties to the Pistons is almost hilarious. It’s proven a successful strategy thus far. The newly re-signed Khris Middleton arrived in a deal for Brandon Jennings two offseasons ago alongside Brandon Knight, who was later used to acquire starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
Monroe, drafted 7th in 2010, has averaged 14.3 points and 9.2 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game in 378 games over five seasons. Last season he averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds over the course of 69 games. He only started 57, as he shuffled back and forth while the Pistons initially tried to figure out how to blend his strengths alongside Andre Drummond and Josh Smith.
The Georgetown product’s always been a strong post up scorer with better than average passing skills for a big man. Milwaukee saw firsthand how impactful interior passing could be over the past two seasons with Zaza Pachulia.
The Bucks will sign Monroe first and then use Middleton’s bird rights to exceed the salary cap in bringing him back.
Milwaukee’s new center will
likely definitely slot into the starting lineup alongside MCW, Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Monroe is the oldest of the group at age 25. The next two years are shaping up to be very promising for the Bucks.
Also, this list ranks Wisconsin ahead of California and New York. I’m just saying.