The New York Knicks have made some big moves this offseason, and it looks like they’re considering at least one more. New York reportedly has their eye on Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe, who didn’t make as big of an impact as hoped.
YardBarker reports that the Bucks’ signing of center Miles Plumlee puts Monroe on the trading block one season after he signed a 3-year, $50-million contract.
Monroe’s numbers weren’t poor since he averaged 15.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and shot 52.2% from the field – roughly the same numbers that he put up in Detroit (15.9/10.2/49.6%). But the problem with Monroe is that he’s not an elite defender and only averages 0.5 blocks per game.
But his offensive game could be another good addition to the Knicks, which made big acquisitions this offseason in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings. Adding Monroe to a team that also includes Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis would make New York a formidable team in the East.
The Knicks could potentially have Monroe for two seasons if he were to pick up his 2017-18 player option. The catch, though, is that New York needs a third team to help complete a trade and clear some salary cap room.
Gery Woelfel, from the Racine Journal Times, reports that other NBA teams know that Milwaukee is motivated to trade Monroe, which reduces his value. But belief around the league is that Monroe is at least worth a mid or late first-round draft pick.
Assuming they do make a trade for Monroe, it would no doubt have an impact on their 2016/17 odds of winning the NBA championship, which currently sit at +12500.
New York has +4000 odds of winning the Eastern Conference title right now. If you’re looking to get value on Knicks futures before a potential Monroe trade, now would be a good time to do so.
Other Teams Interested in a Greg Monroe Trade
The BleacherReport crew points out that there are a few other teams interested in acquiring Monroe.
“He’s only making $17 million this season, $17.9 million the next, and that’s it – his contract is up after that,” says analyst Howard Beck. “So it’s not a big contract by today’s standards under the cap. He should be movable, but a trade for them is preferable , it’s not imperative.”
The Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Charlotte Hornets are three teams that Monroe makes sense for since they need help in the middle.
Regarding the Hornets, Beck said, “They lost Al Jefferson, another guy who was a low-post scorer who was not a great defender, but they managed to get the best out of him on the end. Greg Monroe could slip right into there.
“They’ve got Cody Zeller, they signed Spender Hawes, Roy Hibbert – you know, there’s no one guy that you’re going to say ‘That’s the guy who’s going to man the center position for the next 10 years.'”
As for the Knicks, Beck believes that Monroe is a luxury at this point because they already have Noah and Porzingis in the middle.
One more team that was discussed is the Lakers, who pursued Monroe hard last summer in free agency. Beck says that L.A. already signed Timofey Mozgov to a big deal and drafted center Ivica Zubac early in the second round, so they’re probably not interested.
Wherever Monroe lands next season – if anywhere other than Milwaukee – he should help improve their record thanks to his low-post scoring.