Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks wasn’t completely idle at the NBA trade deadline, acquiring Greg Monroe and a 2021 2nd-round pick from the Raptors.
At one of the most active NBA trade deadlines in recent memory, the Brooklyn Nets made one late deal, acquiring center Greg Monroe and a 2021 second-round pick from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for cash considerations, per reports.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Nets agreed to take on Monroe as a salary dump while picking up a second-round selection.
Michael Scotto of The Athletic later fleshed out the deal, reporting Brooklyn is surrendering cash considerations to Toronto in the deal while taking on the remainder of Monroe’s veteran’s minimum deal and picking up the Raptors’ 2021 second-round pick.
Scotto also reported the Nets intend to buy out Monroe for roughly $530,000.
However, the Nets will have to create a roster spot in order to add Monroe, before placing him on waivers. The most likely candidate would be Mitch Creek, who is on his second 10-day contract with Brooklyn.
That would enable the Nets to open a roster spot for what appears to be a robust buyout market now that the deadline has passed.
Monroe’s career has cratered in much the same manner as that of former Brooklyn Net Kenneth Faried because of his inability to space the floor on offense. Throw in that he’s a sub-par defender and his value plummeted.
Still, it wasn’t that long ago that the Milwaukee Bucks were being lauded for being able to wrest Monroe away from the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers during the 2015 free agent period, signing the former seventh overall pick to a three-year, $50 million deal that summer.
Monroe was relegated to reserve status by his second year with the Bucks and last season was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the deal that sent Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee and finished the season with the Boston Celtics after being bought out in Phoenix.
He signed a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Raptors last August.
Monroe played in 38 of Toronto’s 55 games to this point, starting twice, and was averaging 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game on 46 percent shooting — all career-lows. He missed all four of his 3-point attempts and is 0-for-16 from deep in his nine-year career.
The Detroit Pistons selected Monroe out of Georgetown in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft and he spent his first five seasons with the Pistons, the last after agreeing to Detroit’s qualifying offer as a restricted free agent.
He averaged 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.3 minutes per game with the Pistons, shooting 50.5 percent. In his final season, he averaged a double-double at 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds and entered unrestricted free agency as one of the top players available.
But the changing pace of the NBA left Monroe behind — literally and figuratively — as there is little room left for plodding old-school big men who can only offer back-to-the-basket offense and little rim protection defensively.
The New Orleans native will almost certainly clear waivers once he’s released by Brooklyn and may be able to find an end-of-the-rotation role somewhere.
The real asset is the second-round pick in 2021, with the Nets now holding a top-35 protected pick from the Suns and Toronto’s pick in that draft, as well as their own first-rounder.
Brooklyn’s second-round pick in 2021 is headed to the Charlotte Hornets as part of last summer’s deal to dump Timofey Mozgov‘s contract.
This isn’t the first time the Nets have taken excess money off Toronto’s books. In July 2017, Brooklyn acquired DeMarre Carroll, the Raptors’ 2018 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2018 that originally belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers, sending Justin Hamilton back to Toronto.
It was a frenetic Thursday in the Eastern Conference, with the Milwaukee Bucks adding Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, a move that was later countered by Toronto getting Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, per Wojnarowski.
The Philadelphia 76ers had picked up Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers on Wednesday and added Jonathon Simmons from the Orlando Magic on Thursday while giving up former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers are expected to add Wesley Matthews, per Charania, after he clears waivers. Matthews is being released by the New York Knicks less than a week after he was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade on Friday.