For one day, the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office powers were better than the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Making a move they had to make to keep up with an active Eastern Conference, Milwaukee landing stud big man Greg Monroe, formerly of the rival Detroit Pistons.

No longer feeling welcome in Detroit, “Moose” was a lock to leave the state of Michigan in free agency and decided to take his talents to Mil-town, rather than make a bigger splash in a bigger city. It’s an odd choice to some, but is arguably the right one, considering the Lakers and Knicks are oddly much further away from competing than the Bucks are. Milwaukee actually has a somewhat formidable starting five (especially now with Monroe in tow), and a three-year, $50 million contract certainly didn’t hurt matters.

This deal is even better considering the Bucks locked Monroe to a max deal before the new CBA kicks in, which means in two years this deal will look amazing. Monroe figure to slide in and start at center, giving the Bucks a huge upgrade over the mediocre Zaza Pachulia. If Pachulia sticks in town, though, he suddenly gives Milwaukee awesome depth behind Monroe and a Bucks team that made the playoffs a year ago looks a heck of a lot stronger.

Does Monroe push the Bucks into title contender range? No, but he’s a start. Milwaukee also appears largely content with grooming their in-house talent, as they have several young players that could get markedly better in the next two to three years. That doesn’t mean they’re untouchable, though, as point guard Michael ┬áCarter-Williams may still be available to land the right player. MCW could also be the answer at the lead guard spot, too, and with Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Moose joining him in the starting unit, this Milwaukee squad looks extremely dangerous on the surface.

The Bucks already took a good Chicago Bulls team to six games a year ago and still have solid depth behind their starting unit in the aforementioned Pachulia, John Henson, Jerryd Bayless, O.J. Mayo, recently acquire Greivis Vasquez and Jared Dudley. Milwaukee even added prospect Rashad Vaughn in the draft, and all of these moves come together to make the Bucks solid winners this summer. They probably need one more big move to vault them into championship discussion, but the moves Jason Kidd and co. are making suggest a slow, methodic build. That suggests Milwaukee fans won’t see a huge return right away in the 2015-16 NBA season, but that the progress has already begun and fans should like what they see from here. No one should be betting on the Bucks to win it all just yet, but they’re becoming more dangerous and should be a safe bet to return to the playoffs next year.

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