“Totally,” Monroe said after finishing his first post-practice workout with the Suns, when asked if he was surprised about the deal. “Blindsided. I honestly didn’t have any clue. But it’s what we signed up for. It could happen to anyone at any moment. My job is to play, that’s what I try to focus on and that’s really it. I was surprised, I was just trying to get healthy, get back on the floor and help that team. Now that I’m here, I’ll do the same here. And if it’s somewhere else, I’ll do the same there. My focus doesn’t change; it’s a business and I’m a player so I just try to play.”
The deal, which was finalized on Tuesday, sent Monroe to Phoenix along with protected future first and second round picks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that the Suns are hoping to flip the final year of Monroe’s expiring deal before moving forward in potential buyout talks. Monroe said he had a brief conversation about his future with Suns GM Ryan McDonough.
“I talked to him quickly,” Monroe said. “I just told him I understand the plan they have in place, how they want to approach the season. I told him if you want me to play, I’ll always play. I’ll never be one not to want to play. If not, we’ll just work together, find the best option for everyone but I’m more than happy to play here. So we’ll just continue to talk and see what happens.”
Monroe acknowledged that it was a strange situation to be traded to a team, not knowing if he’ll ever play for them.
“It’s weird,” Monroe said. “Of course. That’s what we signed up for. Obviously it’s some different things that went into it. This is kind of a unique case. I’m going to make the best out of any situation. Just try to prepare myself to be the best player I can be.”
In the short-term, Monroe said McDonough’s message to him was to get healthy. Monroe injured his calf during an Oct. 29 game against the Atlanta Hawks.
“I’m not one to give timetables but I’m definitely pretty close,” Monroe said. “It shouldn’t be no more than a week at tops. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling comfortable. Just want to make sure I’m fully healthy.”