Two years ago, the Milwaukee Bucks backed into the playoffs with a young roster full of long, athletic defenders that showed promise for the future.
Last summer, they signed Greg Monroe to a surprise contract, the young center choosing Jason Kidd and the Bucks over much larger and more glamorous markets. Then last season the Bucks struggled — certainly not completely because of Monroe, there were injuries and other issues that set the Bucks back, but Monroe and Jabari Parker did not form what felt like the front line of the future in Milwaukee.
One year in, the Bucks are apparently looking to move on, according to Michael Scotto of the Associated Press.
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.
Monroe had some people his first season with the Bucks was an outright disaster, but those people expected him to be something he’s not — Monroe was last season exactly who has been for several seasons now. He is a strong offensive player in the post who will get a team 15 points and 9-10 rebounds a night and do it efficiently — 56.2 true shooting percentage and a 21.8 PER last season. He’s a good passer for a center. He’s not terribly athletic, which hurts his defense, especially if you can pull him away from the paint.
Monroe is a good basketball player, the problem is more fit in Milwaukee than anything else. He’s not going to space the floor on offense, he’s going to be near the paint and his defender can help protect the rim. He’s not going to lock down guys defensively. That didn’t fit with the flow the Bucks had created a year before.
I get why they are trying to move him, but he would need to go to a team with a strong rim-protecting four who can also space the floor. You need a point guard who can get him the rock. How many teams are looking for a traditional center during a small-ball era, and how much would any team give up to get him? The Bucks may not find him easy to move.
Report: No second bubble, scrimmages or practices for other eight NBA teams
There is growing belief among the NBA’s eight franchises not in Orlando that a second bubble site being built for minicamps and intrasquad scrimmages will not happen, sources tell The Athletic. There is pessimism about in-market minicamps for group workouts happening as well.
“There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”
I’m so sick of some of these eight teams whining. They’re not playing because they weren’t good enough to qualify for the resumption. Deal with it. Every year, some teams get eliminated before others. This is different in degree, not kind.
That wouldn’t necessarily be the case for the other eight teams. Maybe there’s value in fulfilling local TV contracts, but the remaining games are a poor product. Scrimmages and practices would be even less marketable. Impending free agents especially have little reason to care about continuing.
I understand why many of the eight teams want to do something. But it’s probably just not worth it.
Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. out for season with torn left meniscus
Even with the short offseason, Jackson should be ready to play at the start of next season.
This is a serious blow to the Grizzlies, who are 0-3 in the bubble and now just lost their best player through those three games. He has been the best source of offense for the Grizzlies in the bubble, feasting on defenders who cannot match his speed.
Jackson, a 6’11” big out of Michigan State, averaged 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds a game this season, shooting 39.4% from three. He’s still developing, but he looks like a classic modern big — can protect the rim, can post up or make plays from the elbow, and can shoot the three — who is developing a strong chemistry with Ja Morant. They could be the cornerstones of the Grizzlies’ future.
First, Jackson has to get healthy.
Watch Devin Booker drain turnaround game-winner to beat Clippers
Ivica Zubac opened the door for Booker to win it. The Suns had the ball with 31 seconds to go and the Clippers — Kawhi Leonard in particular — defended it well, forcing Ricky Rubio into a difficult, high-arcing shot he missed. Zubac did a good job grabbing the rebound, but then he hurried the outlet pass and Mikal Bridges tipped it, Deandre Ayton grabbed it, and the Suns got to reset and take one more shot.
Devin Booker took the final shot, a game-winner. That man is a problem.
Obviously, Milwaukee is way better than Brooklyn overall. But the Bucks didn’t have much incentive to chase a victory. They’ve already all but clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Starters Brook Lopez and Wesley Matthews didn’t play. Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton didn’t play in the second half.
That created an opening for the Nets, who blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead then rallied to win.
What they lacked in talent, both teams made up for in effort – and feistiness.
Antetokounmpo was restrained from Brooklyn big Donta Hall after getting knocked down during a second-quarter tussle for a rebound: