Greg Monroe agrees to deal with Bucks

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Unrestricted Pistons free agent Greg Monroe has agreed to a three-year $50 million maximum deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Monroe’s departure from Detroit had grown increasingly likely since last summer, when in lieu of signing a new deal with the Pistons, the two sides agreed on a one-year $5.5 qualifying offer that assured Monroe unrestricted free agent status following the 2014-15 season.

More recently, Monroe’s fate with the Pistons seemed to be set in the stone with comments he made earlier this week in reference to Pistons head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy.

“Stan had smaller teams in Orlando years ago,” Monroe said. “[Andre Drummond] is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”

Monroe was drafted seventh overall by the Pistons in the 2010 NBA Draft. He had been a model of consistency in his five years with the team, being relied upon to churn out 15 points and 10 rebounds each night for the better part of his career. This past season marked the first time Monroe averaged a double-double, scoring 15.9 points while grabbing 10.2 rebounds per game.

However, with Van Gundy’s system placing a premium on floor spacing in every non-center position on the court, Monroe was believed to be the odd man out. The Pistons recently acquired six-foot-ten stretch forward Ersan Ilyasova, expected to replace Monroe in the starting lineup and provide Van Gundy with the shooting threat he so desires at the power forward position.

For the Bucks, the acquisition of Monroe means the bolstering of a rapidly improving team that won 41 games last year and earned a playoff appearance just one season after losing 67 games. Monroe joins a core that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo and the recently retained Khris Middleton. In addition, the Bucks will also re-gain the services of Jabari Parker, the second overall pick in the 2014 draft who appeared in just 25 games his rookie year before tearing his ACL.

The Pistons, meanwhile, have struggled through the early stages of free agency. On top of parting ways with Monroe, Detroit has struck out on a litany of small forward options, including but not limited to: Draymond Green, Jae Crowder, Khris Middleton, Danny Green, and DeMarre Carroll, all of whom have already agreed to terms with non-Pistons entities.