Greg Monroe signs with the Bucks, probably because Milwaukee is a better city than Los Angeles or New York

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.



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.

Categories: The Off Season



  1. Honestly, I’m a huge fan of this addition because he doesn’t provide the rim protection I was hoping to see added to the team from the Center position but it’s only for 2-3 years and his offensive presence on the inside will indeed be a nice addition.

    • Actually, given more thought I think my initial comment might have come off as being a pretty big critic of the move, but in reality it’s a pretty smart move by the Bucks to add a reliable interior offensive presence; plus, they still have J.Henson and M.Plumlee who can come off the bench to provide more of a defensive approach and rim protection to the Center position. Not to mention, it’s not like they jeopardized their ability to lock-up the team’s true “future” with this signing either. I’m excited to see how J.Kidd will work him into the offense.

      Side note: Still hoping the Bucks can move Pachulia for Hawes, but if not maybe next year they can go after Terrence Jones in FA instead.

  2. Super pumped for the signing! I didn’t think he would sign and this should help the Bucks in the scoring department. I think his defense is a little under valued and is a great rebounder.

  3. Does anyone have a headcount on how many contracts we have now ? I believe we are over 15, so somehow we have to trade a player or two for future draft picks … Out of our glut of centers and point guards , who goes ?? …. Only problem that I see with my idea is what incentive does the trading partner have to give us draft picks when they knew our roster is over the 15 limit ?

    • or somehow we have to trade out two players to get one in return to reduce our guaranteed contract totals to “regulation” size

    • I’m pretty sure that Jorge g. Is on a nonguerentead contract so he could be cut or if it’s guaranteed then it’s a few low sum

      • Could we put guys like Inglis and Ennis and O’Bryant in the D League as someone suggested ?? Plus I believe Ennis is injured til January anyway.

  4. This made my Damn day! He fixes 2 of our biggest problems with his post scoring and rebounding. Everyone says he’s not good on D but with our lengthy wings maybe he doesn’t need to be great. I’m so pumped right now and unfortunately stuck at work otherwise I’d be getting day drunk in celebration!

  5. A few thoughts:

    1) Rim protection is less important when 35 feet of arms are stripping the ball and jumping passing lanes and rotating crisply as you try to execute offensively. Also, Giannis.

    2) The team might average more than 100 points a game next year. Considerably more.

    3) He’s been misused alongside Drummond for the past three years, and can do more offensively than he was allowed by his past few coaches. Even so, he routinely averaged double-doubles over the course of a season.

    4) Monroe is a very good rebounder, for his rim protection deficiencies. He’s also a very talented passer, with a great eye for angles.

    This is now an insanely talented team. Here’s to those of us who rode through Bogut’s elbow and Jennings/Monta and 15 wins to get to this almost unbearably optimistic moment.

  6. I think regardless of whether you think Greg Monroe is a good player, right for this team etc, this is a great signing. Like the article alluded too…we haven’t gotten a free agent like this in forever. In future pitches to free agents, this can be referred to (cherry on top that he chose MIL over LA and NY). The deal may seem pricey today, but moving forward it will be fine. And at the end of the day, our team is better and it won’t cripple us for a long time. I mean, think about it…it is almost like we swapped Ersan for Greg. That is not a bad thing.

  7. It’s a truly great day in Milwaukee Bucks franchise history. The last year has been a miracle. But credit Jason Kidd and John Hammond for the turnaround. Hammond got Giannis. Hammond traded Knight and got more cap room. The franchise ugly tank 2 years ago got Jabari. The owners got Kidd. Kidd got Monroe.

    Kidd taught defense and winning in just 1 year. Monroe says he chose Milwaukee cause of being more playoff ready. So if Kidd didn’t lead a 41 win playoff year last year, no Monroe this year. Incredible.

    You don’t see miracles often in life. But this past year for the Milwaukee Bucks just might qualify as one.

  8. Well said by thekid. As he and Jeremy noted, this is a good summer to spend money on free agents, with the rise in salary cap next year making these salaries more proportional (as I understand it). There was an article at Grantland that seemed to say this very thing (as I remember it), plus adding that Milwaukee is one of about only ten teams this summer who have lots of cap space, while next summer just about all the teams will have lots of money to spend — meaning there is less competition this summer than next. Seems to make sense.

    Anyway, the psychological boost from this signing seems tremendous. As JP wrote, it’s good for loyal, long-suffering Bucks fans to have this kind of excitement.

    I like having someone both tall and bulky, with the hope that Greg will provide some clean but convincing jostling and pounding inside for the Bucks. He’s still young, and so there might be some potential that hasn’t been tapped. Plus, the deal is fairly short-term; let’s hope everyone involved is happy for Greg to sign again in a couple of seasons.

    I still hope we keep John Henson! I’d be happy if he came off the bench for 20-30 minutes per game, assuming the Bucks really show him some love. Miles Plumlee might be good to keep around, too, especially if he can shoot medium-range jumpers. We know Spencer Hawes can really stretch the floor, so let’s maybe bring him in, too, in exchange for Zaza or Miles.

    Finally, I’ll take Milwaukee over Los Angeles or New York anyday. I tried to make it work out for moving back to the city or suburbs, but ended up in Boise — which is very nice, too, with even a new German tavern downtown. I hope the Bucks buy the Idaho Stampede in the D-League — that would be fun, and give us a place to play guys like Inglis and Ennis and O’Bryant if they’re not quite ready for the big time in the NBA.

  9. do you happen to know what our roster / guaranteed contract count is right now ?? I am fairly certain it is over 15

      • Yup…..Duds gone for nothin…kinda dampers todays evwnts for me…good character, good deep threat and role player…

    • Here is our roster

      1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
      2. Jabari Parker
      3. Jerryd Bayless
      4. Michael Carter Williams
      5. Tyler Ennis
      6. Jorge Gutierrez
      7. John Henson
      8. Damien Inglis
      9. O.J. Mayo
      10. Khris Middleton
      11. Johnny O’Bryant
      12. Zaza Pachulia
      13. Jabari Parker
      14. Miles Plumlee
      15. Greivis Vasquez
      16. Rashad Vaugn
      17. Greg Monroe

      Im guessing, they are sending some players to the D-League, O’Bryant and Gutierrez perhaps?

      • subtract Zaza Pachulia

        Also, I’d venture a guess and say that Jorge Gutierrez will be waived eventually; that puts us at 15.

        PG: MCW/Vasquez, Bayless, Ennis
        SG: Middleton, Mayo, Vasquez/Vaugn, Bayless
        SF: Antetokounmpo, Middleton/Parker, Inglis, Vaugn
        PF: Parker, Antetokounmpo, JOB/Inglis, Monroe, Middleton
        C: Monroe, Henson, Plumlee, JOB

          • Haha; yeah. I meant to say 14, not 15; however, I do think the team will look to add another veteran shooter… perhaps a tweener or strictly stretch 4 type.

            I’m hoping they’ll take a close look at Gigi Datome (27yo; tweener forward) or Travis Wear (24yo; typical stretch 4); plus maybe Quincy Acy (24yo; tweener forward) who’s more of a defensive guy who’s shown some ability to stretch the floor but isn’t known to really be a shooter. The other two are likely defensive liabilities, but Datome is a true shooter type where as Wear is a more ideal fit at the PF position. I guess the rumored Chris Copeland isn’t a horrible thought either as he’s a tweener who’s probably between Datome and Wear shooting wise (not as good as Datome, but probably better than Wear – maybe); he much older though (31yo).

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