TUESDAY, 11:48am: While the public stance from the Bucks brass is that they’re satisfied with Monroe, league sources tell Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times that the team is “eager to move on” from him. According to Woelfel, because teams around the NBA know the Bucks want to move Monroe, he doesn’t have a ton of trade value. “They’re not going to get a lottery pick for him,” one GM said. “Not even a late lottery pick.”
Still, despite the fact that Monroe is not a major trade asset, some NBA officials believe he could land the Bucks a mid- or late-first-round pick. One agent tells Woelfel that he’d be “shocked” if Monroe remains on Milwaukee’s roster through the offseason.
Monroe, who turned 26 earlier this month, was his usual effective self during his first season in Milwaukee, averaging 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per 36 minutes to along with a .522 FG%. However, while Monroe was a productive low-post scorer and rebounder for the Bucks, his defense was lacking and he didn’t provide much rim protection.
In our Bucks offseason preview, Dana Gauruder observed that Monroe’s defensive shortcomings could prompt the team to explore the trade market for him, as was reportedly the case at last season’s trade deadline. Although Milwaukee ultimately told Monroe he wouldn’t be moved at that time, at least one report suggested that he would have been obtainable if a trade partner had been willing to give up a “decent” first-round pick.
It remains to be seen what sort of package the Bucks will seek if they move Monroe this offseason, but he’ll enter the 2016/17 season on an expiring contract of sorts. The ex-Piston is Milwaukee’s highest-paid player, with a $17.146MM cap hit for the coming year. He also has a $17.884MM player option for 2017/18, though there’s a good chance he’ll turn down that option and return to the open market a year from now, with the salary cap on the rise.
In addition to figuring out whether or not Monroe fits into their plans next season, the Bucks will also have to determine what to do with Michael Carter-Williams, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Carter-Williams will be extension-eligible, but he was the subject of a few trade rumors earlier this year, and may not have a long-term future in Milwaukee.