NBA free agency is all but wrapped up, and for the most part, the Brooklyn Nets’ roster is full at 15 players. There will be no other major signings, but a trade could change the dynamic of the roster.
The Milwaukee Bucks signed Center/Forward Greg Monroe last offseason, after the former Georgetown standout played five seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Monroe signed a three-year deal, worth just over $51 million.
When Milwaukee signed Greg Monroe, it was nearly unanimously lauded as a great move for an up-and-coming Bucks team that seemed ready to take the next step. Milwaukee finished 41-41 in 2014-15, good enough for sixth seed in the East. Adding Monroe to their nucleus of talent would be a move that could have catapulted Milwaukee to the next level.
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But the Bucks took a big step back this past season. Milwaukee finished 33-49, which was 11 games back of the eighth seeded Detroit Pistons. As a result, for much of the off-season, Greg Monroe’s name is mentioned in trade rumors. The fact that Milwaukee re-signed Miles Plumlee also adds to the possibility that Monroe could be traded at some point, according to ESPN.
So where do the Nets factor in?
The Bucks seemingly want to move on from Monroe and his contract, which we’ll touch on in a bit. If Milwaukee is immensely motivated to move Monroe, the price to acquire him could be cheap. If that’s the case, this could be a move worth pursuing for Sean Marks.
Monroe has never been named an All Star in his six-year career, but he has consistently played up to his abilities. Monroe has averaged between 15 and 16 points per game every year since 2011. His rebound totals usually hover around 9 to 10 per game. This past season, Monroe was just short of that, at 8.8 rebounds per game. Monroe is 26 years-old, so he is probably entering, or quite close to his prime. In Monroe, the Nets would be getting a 6’11” big man who can slot next to Brook Lopez in the starting lineup.
Monroe’s contract would play a key role if this were to work out for the Nets. Monroe is under contract for the 2016-17 season with a base salary of $17,145,838. Currently, the Nets have $17.7 million in available cap space, according to former Nets executive and current insider at The Vertical, Bobby Marks. As of now, the Nets could take on Monroe’s contract for the 2016-17 season.
However, the 2017-18 season would carry quite a bit of intrigue with Greg Monroe. The deal that Monroe signed with the Bucks calls for a player option for the 2017-18 season, valued at $17.8 million. Ideally, if the Nets were to acquire Greg Monroe, they would do so as a one-year rental.
Of course, that would require Monroe to opt-out of the contract, forfeiting nearly $18 million. With how the cap has gone up, that isn’t an outlandish possibility by any means. But acquiring Greg Monroe could tie him to the organization for the next two seasons.
If the Bucks want to move Greg Monroe before the season, the Nets could pounce. Perhaps Milwaukee holds onto Monroe and assesses the situation in mid-season. But Greg Monroe has reportedly been available for the entirety of the offseason, and he would bring another veteran to what is a rather young Nets team.