Charlotte Hornets: Greg Monroe to Charlotte is a Win For Everyone

Mar 26, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) dribbles the ball as Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) dribbles the ball as Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Recent rumors from around the NBA have linked the Charlotte Hornets to Milwaukee Bucks’ big man, Greg Monroe, in a possible trade scenario.

With an emphasis on speed and mobility in today’s NBA, the role of offensive big men have diminished. One year after being a heralded signing with the Milwaukee Bucks, Greg Monroe has been cast as poor fit in their system. Are the Charlotte Hornets his next destination?

Numerous trade rumors have circled Greg Monroe over the 2016 offseason. Signing a three-year, $50 million max deal with the Milwaukee Milwaukee, Monroe made headlines by spurning bigger markets such as New York.

However, his lack of a defensive presence was emphasized by the Bucks’ underwhelming performance this year, missing the playoffs altogether. Despite criticism of his defense and athleticism, Greg Monroe is still a valuable NBA player. Averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds is impressive, especially compared to the current Charlotte centers.

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If he’s valuable, why trade him?

Like previously mentioned, Greg Monroe is not a good fit in Milwaukee. Dominant low-post scorers need to be surrounded by floor-stretching versatile wings. Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker‘s massive upsides, they aren’t the shooters Monroe needs. Reversely, Giannis needs an athletic pick and roll center to utilize his playmaking.

The Greek Freak has the potential to be the greatest transition threat in the league. Monroe will only slow down his development. Giannis also needs to be surrounded with capable three-point shooters for his playmaking to flourish. With the unfortunate injury to sharpshooter Khris Middleton, the Bucks need all the shooting they can get.

What’s the Damage?

Fortunately for Charlotte, one thing they’re not lacking are capable shooters. The rumored trade involves stretch-5 Spencer Hawes and upside-filled Jeremy Lamb. Milwaukee has already traded for Michael Beasley to alleviate the loss of Middleton, but they’ll need more shooting power.

Lamb and Hawes shot 31% and 37% respectively from three last season. Although Lamb was below average, given the proper minutes he has a high chance of developing into the sniper he was touted as. Milwaukee has decided to take the high-upside risk on using Giannis as a full time point guard, so the addition of shooters to the roster is vital.

Al Jefferson‘s successor?

Greg Monroe could be the final piece for Charlotte to become a playoff lock again. With everyone doubting the Hornets’ chances of matching last year’s success, Monroe could put that talk down. Charlotte recently just lost Al Jefferson in free agency. In his first year with Charlotte, Jefferson averaged nearly 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats.

However, injuries and age slowly depleted his effectiveness, marginalizing him into a small but useful role off the bench. Greg Monroe is a worthy successor to him, with more athleticism but the same skills to support Charlotte. I believe that the current Hornets roster will maximize Monroe’s talents as well as hide his weaknesses.

Similar to my Jahili Okafor take, Monroe’s old-school ball is best served in a 4 out system. With 3 and potentially 4 shooters around the 6’11 center, Monroe could take his game to new heights. Kemba Walker  has become a sniper from downtown and Nicholas Batum is crazy versatile. Not only that, but Charlotte’s wings are some of the best defenders in the league. Marvin Williams is a surprisingly good rim protector, and the league already fears Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s lockdown defense. This will hide Greg’s lack of rim protection.

Win-Win Situation

I truly believe that this move is a win for everyone involved. Greg Monroe is moved to a team that can properly utilize his talents as well as hide his weaknesses. Charlotte gains a viable scoring option superior to every other center on the roster. Jeremy Lamb and Spencer Hawes will get more playing time than they ever would on Charlotte.

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The additions of Roy Hibbert and Marco Bellinelli certainly diminish their playing time. Milwaukee will be getting a solid wing and a rare stretch 5 that will open things up for the Greek Freak. With the loss of Middleton and a need to find an identity, Milwaukee would be wise to take this deal. Sure maybe either team will ask for some picks, but aside from that, I see no reason not to go through with this deal.