Big-name players on losing teams are always rumored trade possibilities as the deadline approaches, but it appears Greg Monroe won’t be leaving the Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today, the franchise listened to offers. However, he reported “those conversations didn’t advance,” and one source emphasized there’s a zero-percent chance Monroe is moved.
Previously, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said the New Orleans Pelicans had contacted Milwaukee. Ryan Anderson, a hot-shooting stretch 4, was likely the Bucks’ main target, but he has an expiring contract.
The smart decision is retaining Monroe, though, because no trade will help the franchise become a contender this season.
At 22-32, Milwaukee is 5.5 games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Reaching the postseason is great, but would anyone actually project the Bucks to upset the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors or even Boston Celtics in a seven-game series?
Without a doubt, the 2015-16 season hasn’t matched Milwaukee’s expectations. The roster seemed to have a decent balance between offense and defense after Monroe signed a three-year deal. Jabari Parker would eventually return from an injury, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a rising role player.
However, one year after sticking near the top of the NBA, the Bucks have struggled mightily on the defensive end. They rank 23rd with a 106.0 rating and allow 9.3 triples per game, the sixth-highest mark in the league.
Milwaukee should keep the roster together for now and address its biggest needs — backcourt scoring and better rim protection — during the offseason in hopes of making a playoff run in 2016-17.
If the Bucks struggle next season, though, don’t be surprised if they accept an offer for Monroe, who holds a player option for the following year.