Things didn’t go as planned for the 2015-16 Milwaukee Bucks, who expected to be Eastern Conference contenders after a surprisingly feisty playoff appearance the year prior. They ended up missing the postseason field altogether with a 33-49 record.
One of the key differences between those two seasons? Big man Greg Monroe, who the Bucks courted in free agency and gave a deal worth about $50 million over three years. Monroe was meant to add scoring, rebounding, and toughness down low, but he ended up exacerbating the team’s spacing issues on offense with his limited shooting range; he also took away from the lithe, long-limbed, switch-heavy defensive prowess that made the team fearsome in 2014-15. Now Bucks management is realizing that they perhaps made a mistake, with reports suggesting that they’re trying to trade him.
Monroe will be a tough sell for the rest of the league, and mostly for the same reasons that he’s a tough sell on the Bucks. A throwback, post-heavy player, Monroe does not extend defenses with his shooting or extend with his defense, struggling at the perimeter on both ends of the floor at a time when the league is stretching out and demanding players to operate in bigger partitions of space.
It’ll be interesting to see what teams are interested in taking on such a unique, anachronistic player. Stay tuned.