With Greg Monroe still a part of the roster, it may come as a surprise to hear the latest Milwaukee Bucks rumors suggest that a deal recently came closer to completion than many realize.
The Greg Monroe saga has been going on for a long, long time. There has been little else in the shape of Milwaukee Bucks rumors and of late, the scraps have grown increasingly few and far between even in regard to Monroe.
Throughout the arduous process of speculation about potential trades, Marc Stein of ESPN has always been one of the men who appeared to have his finger closest to the pulse in regard to Moose, as could also be said for ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
On a podcast between the two men just prior to the beginning of free agency we received a first update on Monroe’s availability, while a few days later Lowe chimed in again with mention of New Orleans continuing to monitor the situation.
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The pair recently reconvened for another podcast, which posted on Thursday, and Monroe was once again among the topics of conversation.
As detailed on this episode of the Lowe Post podcast, the Greg Monroe trade saga was closer to a conclusion than previous reports throughout the media have necessarily suggested.
As usual, the entirety of the podcast is well worth listening to, but the Greg Monroe related details can be found via our transcript below.
"Zach Lowe: “The Bucks cannot give Greg Monroe away on what’s basically an expiring deal. I think they got closer than maybe has been reported with New Orleans during either the draft or free agency, I can’t remember which. Is there any Greg Monroe buzz out there at all?”Marc Stein: “Not right now. New Orleans has been the team that has been linked with him constantly— he’s a New Orleans native — I think that’s where he wants to end up. Nothing is materializing. I mean, look, his looming free agency is a part of it. Obviously concerns about his defense, that’s a part of it as well. He’s going to be back on the market, most likely, pretty soon, so how much are you going to be willing to give up for him? But I do think eventually both of them (Monroe and Rudy Gay) will be traded, it’s just taking longer than their teams want.”ZL: “I think the Bucks want to bring him off the bench, by the way. I don’t know if that’s obvious from what they paid Plumlee. They like how their team plays with Plumlee at center.”MS: “They want to move him. If they bring him off the bench, they’re going to have to figure something out because they can’t trade him. I think it’s clear that they think he doesn’t fit what they’re doing at all.”ZL: “It’s amazing how quickly the low post scorer who doesn’t dive on the pick-and-roll and doesn’t play defense — it’s a tricky piece and teams don’t quite know what to do with it, other than turn them into a second unit scorer.”MS: “And a year ago, you were actually the one who said ‘the fit’s not going to be great and I’ve got my skepticism about this’. Because most of us, I think, were saying, ‘the Bucks beat the Knicks in a free agent face-off, this is so good for the league that the Bucks won the Monroe sweepstakes’. And a year later nobody is saying that.”"
Marc Stein’s optimism in regards to the eventual completion of a deal will be a cause of comfort for Bucks fans hoping to see the team not only move on from Monroe, but put this speculation behind them.
Saying that, if a deal came as close as Lowe indicates it did in late June/early July and still couldn’t be completed, has the chance for a deal passed the Bucks by?
Only the coming weeks and months will tell.