The Milwaukee Bucks don’t seem too worried about not making the playoffs last season, but Greg Monroe arriving and maybe disrupting the chemistry from the year before could end up moving him to a different team. The New Orleans Pelicans might end up being the team he’s traded to.
Monroe wasn’t bad, averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while playing 29.3 minutes per game, the least playing time he’s had since his rookie year. But his defense was a problem for a team that relies heavily on team chemistry and defensive coordination. And like other teams are finding out, having a big man who can’t help out when it comes to stretching the floor or bringing in some sort of playmaking dimension causes problems. Monroe can score well near the rim, and that’s about it, and the Bucks need something else.
During the summer, there was mention of the Pelicans, a team desperately trying to find a big man to put next to Anthony Davis who can actually put the ball in the basket, unlike Omer Asik. Monroe played his college ball at Georgetown, but he was born in New Orleans, and played his high school basketball in Harvey, Louisiana, which is pretty much New Orleans. But Monroe’s agents insists he hasn’t asked for a trade, and neither have the Bucks indicated that they’re planning to trade him.
The Pelicans had a bad year last season, and while they’re hoping it had more to do with injuries than building a bad team around Anthony Davis, a bad start to this season could push them towards making a trade for someone like Monroe. The Pelicans can’t afford wasting Anthony Davis’ best years while paying him so much money, and with the future less important than the now, adding someone who can contribute right away in favor of draft picks or some perimeter talent looks like a very likely path to go down to.
The Bucks have pieces missing in their overall scheme, although they seem quite happy with the Jabari Parker-Giannis Antetokounmpo-Kris Middleton trio and think they can surround them with pieces that specialize, unlike Monroe, who is a scoring big man, but nothing much else. For a team like the Pelicans in their current situation this could come in very handy. For the Bucks, perhaps Monroe isn’t that useful, and signing him was a mistake.