Suns plan on keeping recently acquired Greg Monroe for time being

Nov 7, 2017, 4:39 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2017, 11:14 am
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends as Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) work...

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends as Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) works to the basket during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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The Phoenix Suns are planning on keeping recently acquired big man Greg Monroe at this time, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Gambadoro reports Monroe, who is dealing with a calf injury, will likely be out another week or so. Along with protected first and second-round picks, Monroe was traded to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe.

The question of Monroe sticking with the Suns short-term comes with his contract. His $17.8 million salary is expiring, meaning they could waive Monroe and have him off the books either way at the end of the season.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Suns would prefer to explore trade options before contract buyout talks.

Talks could eventually come on a contract buyout, and it’s unlikely that he would remain in Phoenix beyond the February trading deadline – leaving either by buyout or trade.

The possibility of a contract buyout could give the Suns freedom to be creative with an open roster spot.

The Suns’ frontcourt is also crowded. Tyson Chandler and Alex Len have been taking up the minutes at center while Jared Dudley has recently entered the fold at power forward with the young Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender. Alan Williams is also on the roster but he is out after a meniscus injury.

RELATED: Eric Bledsoe joins 98.7 FM’s Burns & Gambo after the trade

Monroe’s expiring deal could also be seen as an asset to some teams looking to get rid of long-term salary. The Suns could theoretically acquire additional assets and an undesirable long-term salary in return for Monroe’s immediate cap relief.

Monroe, the former Milwaukee Buck, is in his eighth NBA season. Last year, Monroe averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He finished sixth in voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

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