Either could reportedly be gone by the trade deadline.
Based on conversations with several NBA execs from both the Eastern and Western conferences, the Bucks are more than receptive to playing “Let’s Make a Deal.’’
And that includes possibly moving Carter-Williams
A much bigger surprise is the Bucks have made known that center Greg Monroe is available at the right price, according to some NBA officials.
In a season where many expected the Bucks to surge forward, they’re just 20-31. Teams falling so far short of expectations often get shaken up.
But this news qualifies as a major surprise, because Carter-Williams and Monroe are so central to the identity Milwaukee wants to create.
Coach Jason Kidd, asserting himself as roster-builder, traded a productive Brandon Knight for Carter-Williams then said, “I wouldn’t say we gave up a lot.” It was easy to note Carter-Williams – a defender and distributor with a shaky outside shot – resembled Kidd as a player. It seemed Kidd viewed Carter-Williams as a protégé.
Monroe was one of only two max-salary free agents to change teams last offseason, and the other – LaMarcus Aldridge – chose the perennially great Spurs. Monroe picked Milwaukee. He was swayed by Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, who pitched the team’s stability.
Trading either player would look to many as if the Bucks were admitting failure – something teams loathe to do.
Still, it might be the wise course here. Carter-Williams’ poor outside shooting makes him a difficult fit with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Monroe’s slow feet have led to problems in Milwaukee’s aggressive trapping defense.
It makes sense to poke around, though with both players under contract for next season, there isn’t an overwhelming sense of urgency to make a deal. But Carter-Williams will be eligible for a contract extension next offseason, and Monroe has a player option in 2017.
The clock is ticking for the Bucks to solve a roster that’s a little more jumbled than they hoped.