Milwaukee Bucks: Greg Monroe opts in to 2017-18 player option

Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has reportedly reached his decision, and opted in to the final year of his deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Whether a busy day of trades around the NBA that reflected poorly on the value of centers influenced him or not, Greg Monroe was reported to have reached a decision on his own free agency situation in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Monroe, who signed with the Bucks in the summer of 2015, will opt in to the final year of his deal for just under $18 million.

The news was first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical.

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Although he struggled to perform and fit in early on in his tenure in Milwaukee, Monroe’s decision would have been made all the more difficult by a stellar season in 2016-17.

Monroe was incredibly impactful for the Bucks, embracing a bench role, and posting averages of 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 22.5 minutes per game. The former Georgetown Hoya also got his first taste of playoff basketball as the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round in six games.

All of that may have helped to boost Monroe’s value and appeal on the open market far beyond where it was a year previously. That potentially could have tempted Monroe into opting out and looking to negotiate a new long-term deal with the Bucks or elsewhere, but in the end it seems as if the security of significant salary next year on a team where he’s finally found a fit was just too good to turn down.

For the Bucks, this deal means they will be dealing with essentially no cap space this summer, regardless of how Tony Snell‘s restricted free agency plays out, and although they’re unlikely to go over this year, they will at least start to approach luxury tax territory.

Another factor worth noting is that if an early extension isn’t worked with Jabari Parker this summer, he will come up for free agency at the same time as Monroe, leaving the Bucks with two potentially expensive outgoing free agents. Retaining both could be a real challenge, and it could result in a big decision or two being made about the shape of the team.

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For the moment, Bucks fans can look forward to the return of Monroe, and hope that he can replicate and build on the production he demonstrated last season.