2:23pm: Charles F. Gardener of the Journal Sentinel (via Twitter) casts a different view, saying trade talks aren’t currently ongoing in Milwaukee and classifies any pending deals as “possible, but not likely.”
2:21pm: The Celtics are still desperately seeking a star player to add to their roster and are reportedly quite active on the trade front. To this end, Boston has engaged in trade discussions with the Bucks regarding Khris Middleton and Greg Monroe, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times relayed.
According to Woelfel’s sources, the Bucks and Celtics are exploring a potential deal that would send Middleton and Monroe to Boston in exchange for the No. 16 and No. 23 picks in tonight’s NBA Draft along with another unnamed player. Milwaukee has worked out a number of players who are projected to go in the 16 to 23 range, including guard Denzel Valentine of Michigan State, guard Malachi Richardson of Syracuse, guard Dejounte Murray of Washington and North Carolina power forward Brice Johnson, Woelfel adds.
If Milwaukee is indeed willing to part ways with Middleton it would be reversal from previous reports that stated the swingman was “untouchable.” Middleton, 24, is signed for four more years and is owed a reasonable $55.3MM over that span. In 79 appearances this season he averaged 18.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 36.1 minutes per outing while shooting .444/.396/.888.
The Bucks have shown no such reluctance when it comes to dealing Monroe, with the team reportedly “anxious to move on from him.” Given the Bucks’ overall lack of athleticism, even with the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the lumbering big man was never a good fit in Milwaukee. He has two seasons remaining on his current deal, though, he can choose to opt out next summer. In 79 games for the Bucks Monroe notched averages of 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.3 minutes per contest. His shooting line was .522/.000/.740.