The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to run it back next season and will likely be doing so with at least Brook Lopez.
Lopez is set to get a four-year, $52 million contract from the Bucks when free agency begins, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Bucks were expected all along to try and re-sign Lopez.
Lopez was signed by Milwaukee at a bargain price of $3.38 million last offseason and fit in perfectly with the team. He shot a career-best 36.5 percent on threes, averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
Milwaukee still has Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon to worry about. Middleton is an unrestricted free agent, while Brogdon is a restricted free agent. They would like to keep both players. They plan to waive George Hill but would like to bring him back as well. Midseason acquisition Nikola Mirotic will not be returning to the team as he has chosen to play in Spain instead.
Brook Lopez stole the show during the Milwaukee Bucks’ 108-100 Game 1 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night with his overall play and energy.
Lopez went 12-for-21, made four 3-pointers, grabbed 11 rebounds and had four blocks in the game. He was fired up during the contest, as evidenced by this amazing video showing him clapping like a maniac:
Brook Lopez is HYPED pic.twitter.com/hfJPFfLcDY
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 16, 2019
That came with his team up 106-100 with 28.6 seconds left. Toronto had just fouled to stop the clock, putting the Bucks in a situation to ice the game.
Lopez signed with the Bucks for $3.38 million on July 8, fairly late in the free agency process. He was surprised the Lakers did not try to retain him. He’s flourished in Milwaukee and attempted 6.3 threes per game, the most ever in his career. His 36.5 percent from long range was also the highest of his career. He’s worked hard to incorporated the three-point shot into his game, and it’s paid off.
The Milwaukee Bucks have a new big man.
According to reports, the Bucks agreed to terms with center Brook Lopez on a one-year deal.
Free agent center Brook Lopez has reached an agreement with Milwaukee, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 8, 2018
Sources: Lopez agrees to a one-year deal at the bi-annual exception. https://t.co/MIKJKiP33L
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 8, 2018
Lopez is a good bet to start for Milwaukee, who will be looking to take a few steps forward in a weaker Eastern Conference this season. He started 72 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 13 points and four rebounds per game. He averaged 20 points per game the two seasons prior to that while playing for the Brooklyn Nets.
The move to Milwaukee comes as a bit of a surprise, as rumor had it Lopez was likely to return to the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster is taking shape now that LeBron James has officially announced his decision.
In addition to James signing with the Lakers, the team has re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It’s an interesting decision for the purple and gold to use a significant park of their salary cap space ($12 million) on KCP, and it may limit their ability to bring in a second star.
Accordingly, Keith Smith reports that Brook Lopez is a good bet to return to the Lakers and that the team is less likely to be able to afford big man DeMarcus Cousins now.
Hearing Brook Lopez is a good bet to return to the Lakers. LA probably out of the running for DeMarcus Cousins after using a good amount of cap space to retain Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 2, 2018
The Lakers were previously said to have interest in Cousins.
Lopez came to the Lakers last season after being traded in the D’Angelo Russell deal. He indicated in April that he was open to both a pay cut and a return to the Lakers.
Brook Lopez open to the idea of coming back at a reduced salary if he felt the Lakers were in a position to win a title next yr
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) April 12, 2018
Now that they have LeBron in the mix, that could be enough for Lopez to take a discount.
It sounds like you can scrap any talk of the Los Angeles Lakers buying out Brook Lopez.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Thursday that Lopez wants to remain with the Lakers for the rest of the season even though the team looks like a longshot for the playoffs.
As I said a little while ago on the Jump, source tells me that Brook Lopez wants to stay with the Lakers the rest of the year. There's still time for that to change, but if it holds, teams hoping he'd be available after a buyout will be disappointed.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 8, 2018
The Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli supplemented that report and said the team has no plans to buy him out.
As things stand, the Lakers have no plans to buy out Brook Lopez. https://t.co/Vtvovz7x5A
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 8, 2018
Lopez, 29, is averaging 12 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season. He had spent his entire career with the Nets prior to being traded to LA, so he’s not used to bouncing around, and that could play a role in his desire to remain with the Lakers. Lopez is set to be a free agent after the season. We had him low on our list of potential buyout candidates.
The NBA trade deadline has passed, but we are far from the end of the player movement. It has become normal that a robust buyout market emerges after the deadline, as players who weren’t moved — or were moved to match salaries — are set free to sign with contenders for the minimum. These buyout players are valuable weapons for cap-limited teams in need of more depth.
Who will end up on the buyout market this year? Here are ten potential candidates of varying likelihood.
1) Derrick Rose, Jazz
Derrick Rose was sent to Utah as part of a three-way trade the Cavs made on deadline day. Reports have said he is likely to seek a buyout and receive one from the Jazz. If that happens, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been mentioned as a potential landing spot. He has great familiarity with his former coach Tom Thibodeau and ex-teammate Jimmy Butler, and is said to have interest in a reunion.
2) Joe Johnson, Kings
Brook Lopez is one heck of a pet owner.
Lopez lives in Bel Air Crest, a gated community in the hills of Los Angeles. His home was near the “Skirball Fire” — one of many Southern California fires this week — which broke out on Wednesday morning.
The Lakers big man used a car service to be dropped off at the team facility prior to the Lakers’ road trip to Philadelphia for Thursday’s game against the 76ers. But he didn’t leave his cat behind.
Instead, Lopez took his cat with him, then had the car service drive four hours to Fresno to drop his cat off at his mother’s home.
Brook Lopez’s neighborhood got evacuated because of the fires so he took his cat, Poupin, to the airport with him. Once there he asked the car service to continue onto Fresno, a 4 hour drive away, to drop Poupin off at his mom’s house.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 8, 2017
“He got there safely, he got to my mom’s house,” Lopez said Friday, via the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli. “It was a bad day for him because he probably didn’t know what was going on, why he was in the carrier, then he had to go to the vet when he was in Fresno right away to get shots.”
Lopez’s area eventually was evacuated because of the fires. As far as he knows, his home is fine. Still, that’s a scary situation for someone who wasn’t around with the fires going on. And that’s a heck of an effort he made to protect his beloved feline.