PORTLAND – The Milwaukee Bucks will turn to a familiar face to add depth to the frontcourt the defending NBA champions signed 31-year-old center Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract on Saturday.
Monroe was signed by the Bucks in 2015 as one of the current ownership group’s first and most high-profile free agent acquisitions. The team signed Monroe to a max contract, reportedly beating the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks for his services. The deal was for three years and up to $50 million.
The center was traded to Phoenix in November 2017 in a deal that brought Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee.
The 6-foot-11 Monroe has played five games this season for Minnesota and Washington, averaging about 16 minutes and 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 points per game.
He last played a full season in 2016-17 at Milwaukee and had roles in two others. Before signing with the Timberwolves this year, the last time Monroe played in the NBA was in 2018-19.
Originally drafted No. 7 overall from Georgetown by the Detroit Pistons in 2010, Monroe was a rookie player and averaged 13.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game over five seasons with the Pistons. .
He averaged 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in his first season with Milwaukee before seeing his totals drop to 11.7 and 6.6 in the 2016-17 season. He only played five games for the Bucks to start the 2017-18 season before being traded.
Monroe is the second veteran big man the Bucks have signed this season to help ease the pressure on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis. The team signed former star player DeMarcus Cousins on November 30. He played 17 games before the Bucks waived him on Jan. 6.
Starting center Brook Lopez has missed every game since the Oct. 19 opener with a back injury that required surgery Dec. 2.