Report: Greg Monroe signing a maximum contract with Bucks

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The Knicks entered free agency as favorites to land two players: Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo.

They got Afflalo.

They’re not getting Monroe.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

This is a nice signing for the Bucks. They’re taking advantage of a few market conditions that work in their favor now and only now:

1. They had max cap space due to Khris Middleton’s low cap hold. That will disappear once he officially signs his five-year, $70 million contract.

2. They also had cap space because so many of their players – including Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams and John Henson – are on low-paying rookie-scale contracts. Those players will be in line for major raises in coming seasons.

3. They’re locking Monroe into a max in the final year of the old-TV-contract money. As the salary cap skyrockets in coming years, his deal will look even better.

4. Because the cap has not yet exploded, they’re one of only so many teams with max space now. Next year, most of the league will have max cap space, and that makes it more difficult for small-market Milwaukee to compete.

Monroe provides the center the Bucks desperately need, and he should thrive no longer playing next to Andre Drummond. The lane will be much more clear for Monroe’s post moves.

Handling Jason Kidd’s aggressive defensive schemes will be a bigger challenge for Monroe, but perhaps Milwaukee can use its length to hide him to some degree.

Monroe should feel vindicated after accepting the Pistons’ qualifying offer last summer. The risky move has paid off for him, and his next deal should pay off for the Bucks.