MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks will retain their prized free agency acquisition from 2015, after the team was notified Wednesday morning that center Greg Monroe would exercise his player option and return for the 2017-18 season. The Vertical was the first to report the news, which has since been confirmed by several other media outlets.
Monroe signed a three-year, $51.4 million contract with the Bucks in 2015 worth an average of $17.1 million per season. That was a huge payday for an offensive mainstay in Detroit that earned $5.4 million in 2014, his final season with the Pistons.
While not confirmed at the time of publication, Monroe’s motivation for re-upping with the Bucks is likely two-fold: The uncertainty of a very active trade season throughout the NBA; And the balance of potential success with the Bucks paired with a large contract. Monroe’s decision nets him an additional $17.88 million this upcoming season, although his role could change with the NBA Draft on Thursday night.
The consensus among many mock draft analysts is that Milwaukee will select a center in Thursday’s draft, leaving Monroe’s status up in the air. He was relegated to a bench role in 2016, which Monroe learned from reporters during a preseason Media Day session.