On July 8, the Milwaukee Bucks addressed some of their frontcourt depth concerns by signing Brook Lopez to a one-year deal worth approximately $3.4 million.
Lopez spent his first nine seasons with the Nets franchise where he was extremely successful. In nine seasons with the Nets, Lopez averaged 18.6 points per game while shooting 50.6% from the floor. Lopez’s offensive prowess allowed him to surpass Buck Williams as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer back in 2017.
Lopez was then dealt last offseason to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster deal that involved D’Angelo Russell. As a Laker, Lopez suffered a slight reduction in playing time due to the franchise’s desire to evaluate younger talent. Lopez played a career-low 23.4 minutes per game last season but was still effective in his reduced role. Last season, Lopez still averaged 13.0 points per game on 46.5% shooting from the floor.
However, there is one glaring weakness within Lopez’s game that has prevented him from becoming an elite center in the NBA. He is a terrible rebounder for someone who is seven feet tall. In his career, Lopez has only averaged 6.8 rebounds per game which is unacceptable for someone of his stature.
The main reason for his low rebounding totals is his style of play. Despite weighing at approximately 268 pounds, Lopez has never been a big post player. Lopez relies heavily on his jumpshot from mid-range which prevents him from scrapping for offensive rebounds on most possessions. Lopez has even expanded his range in recent years to the three point line which draws him out even further from the paint rendering him practically useless on the offensive boards.
Despite his rebounding concerns, Lopez will definitely help boost Milwaukee’s center depth. Prior to this signing, the projected centers on the team’s roster for the upcoming season were Thon Maker and John Henson. No offense to both players but Lopez is definitely an upgrade due to his strength and starting experience.
It remains to be seen whether or not Lopez will be inserted directly into the starting lineup during the regular season. However, one can assume that he will receive quality playing time due to Coach Budenholzer’s system. Budenholzer is a fan of big men who can shoot from mid-range and from the three point line (i.e.: Al Horford) which is something that Lopez can do extremely well.
This move might not instantly make the Bucks serious contenders in the Eastern Conference but the team definitely improved with this signing.