Greg Monroe has not disappointed since being drafted 7th overall by Detroit back in 2010. Monroe has had the misfortune of not playing for a winning team, but he himself has been very good. Monroe has 39.7 win shares in his career (.135 per 48 minutes,) and he scores the ball well (14.5 career points per game) and efficiently (50.8% from the field and 20.0 PER.)
Monroe’s defense is solid, but he just isn’t the rim protector so many teams have and the Bucks need. As a result, the Bucks put Monroe on the trade block, and some team will more than likely get a great player in an even better deal. Here are some potential trades that benefit both teams involved.
Boston Receives: Greg Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams
Milwaukee Receives: Amir Johnson, Marcus Smart
With this trade, the Celtics have more offensive firepower in their starting line-up, and they don’t lose too much off the bench either. Thomas, Monroe, and Horford are all excellent scorers for their position, and Bradley and Crowder are both excellent off the ball. Brad Stevens was able to use Evan Turner excellently, and Michael Carter-Williams is a very similar player in terms of style and size. While Johnson’s hustle and great play without the basketball will be missed, the Celtics have Jerebko at the same position capable of playing that way, and Monroe provides some much needed interior scoring.
This trade gets Milwaukee its needed rim protector. Amir Johnson had offensive and defensive ratings of 117 and 102 because he knows how to play around ball dominant players like Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner. In a line-up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jabari Parker, Johnson will be playing off the ball a lot offensively. Marcus Smart is a considerable upgrade at back up point guard over Michael Carter-Williams for what this team is built to do: use its length, youth, and athleticism to play fast, and he also has enough upside to eventually let Antetokoumnpo return to the front court.
Memphis Receives: Greg Monroe
Milwaukee Receives: Zach Randolph, Brandan Wright, Jordan Adams
PF – Greg Monroe, JaMichael Green, Deyonta Davis
The Grizzlies do this trade to give themselves something going forward. Randolph is at the end of his career, and Wright and Adams don’t have the same kind of upside as Monroe’s current level. Monroe could very easily lead this team in scoring, and his defense can be hidden in the same line-up as Conley Jr., Allen, and Gasol. Monroe, Parsons, and Conley Jr. will be around for the long term unlike so many players on this team, and that is something that cannot be said about any of the three players Memphis gives up to get Monroe.
PG – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Matthew Dellavedova, Tyler Ennis
SG – Khris Middleton, Jordan Adams, Malcolm Brogdon
SF – Jabari Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, Rashad Vaughn, Steve Novak
PF – Zach Randolph, Thon Maker, Mirza Teletovic
C – Brandan Wright, John Henson, Miles Plumlee
Similar to Amir Johnson, Brandan Wright is another player who thrives in talented line-ups like this one. Wright has career offensive and defensive ratings of 125 and 106. He knows how to play the game in whatever way will help his team win. Randolph is a player who can be the veteran this team sorely missed last season when Zaza Pachulia left. He is in his last years, but he averaged a very good 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in under 30 minutes per game last season. Jordan Adams (career 38.5% from deep) provides some much needed perimeter shooting.
New Orleans Receives: Greg Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams
Milwaukee Receives: Jrue Holiday, Omer Asik
New Orleans Depth:
Depending on how Buddy Hield does in the NBA, it would seem as though New Orleans has finally surrounded Anthony Davis with a legitimate team. This would be even more true with Monroe. While the potential for a tight paint exists with both Davis and Monroe trying to score inside, their styles of play in the paint couldn’t be more different. Davis relies on athleticism whereas Monroe uses his post moves effectively. They are a pair that could play effectively together inside. Defensively, Davis is a rim protector and a premier one at that, so the need there is satisfied. Even a supposedly suspect defender in Monroe (2.4) had more defensive win shares than Omer Asik (1.0) last season, so if the Davis-Asik front court duo could make the playoffs in 2015, there is no doubt the Monroe-Davis duo couldn’t do the same in 2017.
PG – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tyler Ennis
SG – Jrue Holiday, Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon
SF – Khris Middleton, Rashad Vaughn, Steve Novak
PF – Jabari Parker, Thon Maker, Mirza Teletovic
C – John Henson, Omer Asik, Miles Plumlee
Milwaukee gets the only all-star in this trade by acquiring Jrue Holiday. While his all-star days are most likely behind him with the plethora of injuries Holiday encountered, that doesn’t change the fact that he averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in just 28.2 minutes per game on 43.9% shooting. Holiday is a very good player, and a great shooter as well (career 36.8% from three.) When he is healthy, Holiday is one of the best guards in the league. Asik wasn’t the best in a starting role with New Orleans, but he is a very good back-up center. It was only three years ago that Asik led the league in rebounds, and he is still a lengthy seven footer with who had a defensive rating of 95 as a back-up on the Bulls.
Portland Receives: Greg Monroe
Milwaukee Receives: Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard
PF – Greg Monroe, Noah Vonleh
Monroe gives this team some much needed interior scoring. Between all of their big men, none of them averaged more than Mason Plumlee’s 9.1 points per game. In fact, outside of Lillard and McCollum, no one averaged more than Allen Crabbe’s 10.3 points per game, so Monroe also becomes a 3rd scorer for this team. The losses of Davis, and his ability to play off the ball, and Leonard, and his ability to stretch the floor, do hurt Portland, but Monroe’s skill and multi-dimensional offensive game make up for it. Portland has four great bigs with Monroe, Vonleh, Plumlee, and Ezeli, and they are even deeper if they re-sign Mo Harkless.
PG – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis
SG – Khris Middleton, Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon
SF – Jabari Parker, Rashad Vaughn, Steve Novak
PF – Thon Maker, Mirza Teletovic, Meyers Leonard
C – Ed Davis, John Henson, Miles Plumlee
This has been said about many players in these trades, but Ed Davis is simply the master in playing his role excellently – no matter the size. Davis finished with offensive and defensive ratings of 128 and 104, 6.7 win shares (2nd only to Lillard on Portland despite having much fewer minutes than other players,) and a PER of 18.7. At 6’10” and 240 pounds, Davis isn’t the biggest center, but he plays very big. Leonard, on the other hand, provides some three point shooting (37.7% last season) for a team that dead last in threes made and attempted. Antetokounmpo, Parker, and Carter-Williams aren’t the best shooters, and spacers like Leonard could be key for Milwaukee.
Sacramento Receives: Greg Monroe
Milwaukee Receives: Willie Cauley-Stein, Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufus
This trade gets Sacramento a more than reasonable power forward after putting up with years of disappointing play from Jason Thompson, Derrick Williams, and Quincy Acy. Monroe and Cousins are both extremely talented offensively, and it would be extremely difficult to stop both of them. With scoring threats like Rudy Gay and Arron Afflalo on the perimeter, and a traveled veteran like Darren Collison to run the offense, Sacramento is dangerous offensively. If new head coach Dave Joerger’s defense is anything like it was in Memphis, then this Kings team can be relevant again.
PG – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Matthew Dellavedova, Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis
SG – Khris Middleton, Ben McLemore, Malcolm Brogdon
SF – Jabari Parker, Rashad Vaughn, Steve Novak
PF – Thon Maker, John Henson, Mirza Teletovic
C – Willie Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufus, Miles Plumlee
The Bucks get the next great rim protector out of this trade. Willie Cauley-Stein had very impressive offensive and defensive ratings of 119 and 107 as a rookie starting for a bad team. He shot 56.3% from the field, and he finished 2nd on the Kings in win shares per 48 minutes with .130. Cauley-Stein is only 22, and is a mobile seven footer. His acquisition would give the Bucks three of those – all in the same line-up – with Cauley-Stein, Maker, and Antetokounmpo. McLemore still has that lottery potential from when he was drafted in 2013, and he is, at the very least, a capable shooter at 36.2% from deep last season. Koufus provides even more front court depth. He got 3.5 win shares for Sacramento off the bench last season, he knows how to play.