After selecting D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers were targeting a big man in free agency. While LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan were the big names, Greg Monroe was another name the franchise was reportedly interested in.
With Monroe signing with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Lakers eventually traded for Roy Hibbert and sent a second round pick to the Indiana Pacers.
After a grueling eight-game road trip, the Lakers return home to face the Bucks. When asked about not signing with the Lakers in free agency, Monroe shares there was not anything the franchise did wrong and he ultimately made the best decision for himself according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“There wasn’t anything they did wrong. I just made the best decision for me,” Monroe said in an interview with Los Angeles News Group. “It wasn’t anything they didn’t do or did do.”
With the Lakers in the early stages of their rebuilding process, Monroe ultimately felt the Bucks have an opportunity to be ‘really good’ with Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams, via Medina:
“I think we can be really good,” said Monroe, mindful the Bucks have a young core in Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael-Carter Williams. “We have to continue to put the work in and trust each other and continue to grow. As long as we do that, the sky is the limit.”
With players like Aldridge and Monroe looking to win at this stage of their careers, the Lakers are still a couple of seasons away from contention. However, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have all shown their potential so far this season and could help make Los Angeles an attractive destination this upcoming off-season.
With 58 games remaining in the season and the Lakers at the bottom of the Western Conference, all of the focus should be on player development. Although Clarkson and Randle have played well, Russell was given an opportunity to play major minutes during the road trip and responded well, highlighted by a 24-point performance against the San Antonio Spurs.