Multiple NBA sources told me the Bucks accelerated their attempts to trade Monroe this summer — even though from a purely statistical standpoint he had a quality season, averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.
The consensus among many NBA front office officials was that Monroe wouldn’t be with the Bucks when they report to training camp later this month — even if they couldn’t get fair market value for the big man.
Monroe remains with the Bucks, and this point, it seems less likely they move him. Training camp is right around the corner.
It’s telling that nobody would meet Milwaukee’s low demands – especially because four teams offered Monroe the max just last summer, according to his agent, David Falk. But Monroe didn’t fit with the Bucks, and his value plummeted in line with the team. Monroe was unfairly scapegoated, as losing Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia Ersan Ilyasova caused more harm than realized.
But with Monroe owed $17,145,838 this season and holding a $17,884,176 player option next season, teams will be reluctant to take a chance on him.
Monroe is a skilled interior scorer and good rebounder. His lack of mobility and shooting range just makes him a tough fit in the modern NBA, but I believe smart teams could play to his strengths. Maybe a young Milwaukee team will grow enough to better complement him and hide his weaknesses.
The Bucks are probably stuck with Monroe at this point, but even a slightly better performance early in the season could reinvigorate the trade market – or make Milwaukee appreciate Monroe more.