In a surprising turn of events, the Phoenix Suns agreed to a buyout with center Greg Monroe on Wednesday evening. With that, Yahoo’s Chris Mannix reported the buy out and said there is a legitimate darkhorse to land Monroe: The Oklahoma City Thunder.
Boston is expected to be high on Monroe's free agent list, a source familiar with Monroe's thinking told @YahooSports. A darkhorse team to watch: Oklahoma City.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) February 1, 2018
Mannix is a really reliable NBA reporter. His work with Adrian Wojnarowski during Woj’s time at Yahoo is second to none. That said, a bit surprising as the Thunder have also been linked to Tyreke Evans. It’s unclear which direction the Thunder will go before the trade deadline. It’s pretty understood the Thunder’s will be one of the buyer’s as the deadline approaches.
Monroe, 27, has played for three NBA teams, with much of his career in Detroit. He was traded to the Suns on Nov. 7 in exchange for Eric Bledsoe. In 20 games with the Suns, Monroe is averaging 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in 23.3 minutes.
It appears Oklahoma City is without any exceptions and they could only offer Monroe the pro-rated league minimum (approx. $884,369 as of Jan. 31). For Boston, the favorite, they can offer $8.5 million, which came from the Gordon Hayward injury. Before the buyout, Monroe was making a hefty $17.8 million this season. So, taking a short pay cut on the back of that buyout is easy street for Monroe if he feels Oklahoma City is the best for his team. Most of the time, money talks.
If the Thunder were to reach out and grab the former Georgetown Hoya, he would be an instant relief for Steven Adams. As I said on the Peake & Roll podcast, the Thunder should look to go big and help Adams. When the Kiwi gets into foul trouble, the Thunder are almost left out to dry and forced to go small. This way, they could retain some normalcy within their line up.
Sure, Boston is the favorite but Monroe would be a great fit in Oklahoma City.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!