The Milwaukee Bucks have re-signed free-agent center Miles Plumlee to a four-year, $52 million contract, Plumlee's agent told ESPN's Marc Stein. Even in this inflated salary-cap system, that's a sizable commitment to a player that logged just 14 minutes per game last season.
Plumlee, who will turn 28 before next season, arrived in Milwaukee from Phoenix during a midseason trade in 2015. He thrived as the Suns' starting center in 2013-14, but saw his role reduced the next year and was quickly shipped out. He played very little for the next calendar year, but saw his minutes increase down the stretch last season. The Bucks actually started him 14 times, but he only averaged 14.3 minutes per contest.
Milwaukee evidently believes that Plumlee is a better fit alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker than the Bucks' other big men. Greg Monroe was the Bucks' marquee free-agent acquisition last year, but his low-post game and poor defense wasn't a good fit with Parker and Antetokounmpo. Though Monroe still logged the majority of the minutes up front, the Bucks began starting Plumlee and letting Monroe go against more second units. That may continue next season.
Milwaukee also has promising 25-year-old John Henson up front, who will begin a four-year, $44 million extension this season. Between Monroe, Henson and Plumlee, the Bucks will be paying nearly $42 million for centers next season. That's a lot even in this new climate. Milwaukee's ultimate goal is that 2016 first-round pick Thon Maker assumes a starting frontcourt position full time, but that could be years away.
That's why it would make sense for the Bucks to trade Monroe, who has this year and a player option for 2017-18 left on his contract. Milwaukee has reportedly been seeking a Monroe deal since last year's trade deadline, but has found no takers. Moving Monroe would allow Plumlee and Henson to platoon at the position until Maker is ready.
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