Milwaukee Bucks: Trading Greg Monroe remains a horrible idea

Milwaukee, WI - APRIL 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee, WI - APRIL 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks need to dump some salary, but trading away Greg Monroe probably isn’t the answer.

Another day, another round of chatter about Greg Monroe getting traded from the Milwaukee Bucks. Can Moose get a month where there isn’t talk of him getting traded? Just a month. Now that Brook Lopez got dealt, Moose is the new long-term trade block resident.

Anyway, various outlets are reporting/sharing reports that the Bucks are looking to deal one of John Henson or Monroe. The reason, of course, is that Milwaukee will be in tax territory once the team re-signs Tony Snell officially, which is apparently a big no-no.

On Wednesday, I covered why using the stretch provision is a bad idea to escape the tax. Today it’s time to talk about why dumping Monroe would be a catastrophe, if the Bucks decided that was the best way to save some dollars.

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In over 1,800 minutes across 81 played games, the Bucks outscored opponents by 3.7 points per 100 possessions with Monroe on the floor, good enough for third-best on the Bucks. In 2,133 minutes without Moose, the Bucks got outscored by 2.2 points per 100 possessions. No player being off the floor caused the Bucks to be worse than they were without Monroe. Not even Giannis Antetokounmpo.

So, basically, Greg Monroe makes the Bucks better. This was easily observable by anybody watching the Bucks last season, and the numbers bear it out too. While Thon Maker continues to mature, it’s necessary for the team to have a more established option, and steady presence, available as a bench option.

Additionally, there probably isn’t any team out there who will give up any real assets for Monroe. The fact that he’s an expiring contract helps, but no team with any sort of cap space would want Monroe that badly, meaning Milwaukee would need to take back equal money in any trade unless they gave up assets to get a team with lots of room to take him.

With Nerlens Noel still sitting as a free agent, it just doesn’t seem like any teams are jumping at centers. Paying an asset, whether it be a young player with promise or a draft pick, to give up a guy who was the second-best Buck last season, is a horrible decision.

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Much like Ryan Anderson on the Houston Rockets, Monroe has more value in Milwaukee than he does anywhere else. The Bucks have found a nice niche for him to play within, and he’s great at what Milwaukee asks him to do.

No other teams who are actively trying to win games have the cap space carved out for a second-string center. That’s just not how rosters are typically built. Plus, it’s nearly August — most teams are set and ready for the regular season by now.

Giving up an asset to get off of Henson’s contract would sting, considering the Bucks obviously didn’t have to sign him to it at all. It would make some sense though, seeing as he’s fallen out of the rotation.

Next: Win In 6 Podcast #139: Guide to dealing with scaremongering Giannis Antetokounmpo rumors

Trading Greg Monroe for absolutely nothing — getting that cap money and a roster spot back — would leave the Bucks much worse off. Attaching anything further, or taking back a worse player, would make it much more difficult for Giannis and company to field a winning team in 2017-18.