The Phoenix Suns might be able to move Greg Monroe after all.
The big man came over in the Eric Bledsoe trade, and at 27, joining a team with a jillion other bigs on the roster, he doesn’t really fit into the team’s long-term plans. But he has just one year and $17.8 million left on his deal. Moving him will be difficult without taking back any substantial salary in return.
Enter the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have interest in dealing for the low-post brute, according to Amico Hoops’ Sam Amico:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a strong interest in Greg Monroe, and are exploring ways to obtain the Phoenix Suns’ newly acquired center, league sources told Amico Hoops.
Monroe was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Suns in the Eric Bledsoe deal earlier this week.
The Suns reportedly are looking to move Monroe, either via trade or contract buyout. While he would prefer to join a contender, Monroe said he is open to remaining with the Suns.
Backup center has long been an issue for the Cavaliers. The position is in even more peril at the moment, with ironman Tristan Thompson recovering from injury. Monroe doesn’t do much for the defense, but he’s a good passer out of the post, can work as a rim-runner and, yes, at times showcases quick hands at the defensive end.
Getting him out of Phoenix, though, will be difficult for the Cavaliers. Offering up Iman Shumpert along with Channing Frye’s expiring deal works, but the Suns need to have interest in either Shumpert, who has one year left on his deal (player option) or whatever second-round pick the Cavaliers would be sending their way.
Accepting long-term salary in exchange for Monroe is totally fine. The Suns have the timeline necessary to let beefier contracts expire. But they have to get sweeteners in return for acting as a dumping ground. And the Cavaliers just don’t have the enticing additives necessary to make a deal worthwhile–unless, of course, they’re willing to include their own first-round pick in any trade.