The Bucks surprised many this past offseason when they landed center Greg Monroe in free agency, signing the big man to a three-year, maximum salary contract. Milwaukee, fresh off a 41-41 campaign in 2014/15 that included an Eastern Conference playoff berth, felt the addition of Monroe was the next step toward the upper-echelon of the conference. But plans often have a tendency not to work the way they are laid out and the Bucks have stumbled to a 20-31 record this season. Disappointment can bring about sweeping changes and a report by Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times relayed that the franchise is open to trading Monroe and point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who has failed to impress since coming over in a controversial deadline trade a year ago.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is reportedly the only Bucks player completely off-limits for a deal, though it would take a “crazy” offer to pry Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton from Milwaukee, a league executive told Woelfel. Several people around the league have said they’d be surprised if the Bucks don’t make a significant trade, with the deadline looming two weeks from today, Woelfel added.
This brings me to today’s topics. I say topics because there are two related questions I will be posing to all of you this evening. The first is: Should the Bucks look to trade Greg Monroe prior to the trade deadline? While this is a relatively straightforward question, it does raise another extremely important one regarding the franchise’s future dealings, which is: If the Bucks do in fact deal away Monroe, will it negatively impact their future free agent pursuits?
I will readily acknowledge that money trumps quite a bit in the free agent market, but players do have concerns outside the basketball court. When a player changes teams in the league, he also changes homes and cities, sometimes moving across the U.S., or in the case of players signing with the Raptors, outside of the country. The last thing most players want is to have to have to worry about the logistics of moving so soon after making such an important life choice, not just for themselves, but in many cases for their families as well. So, would dealing away Monroe so quickly after signing him count against the Bucks with future free agents? Milwaukee isn’t a destination city among NBA players, so the franchise already has its work cut out. Flipping a recently signed big-name player may not be the best advertisement to send out to other future free agents.
But that’s merely my take and we’re looking for yours. Take to the comments section to share your thoughts regarding a potential Monroe deal, and whether you think it would hurt the team in the eyes of future free agents. We look forward to what you have to say.