Bucks Potential Brook Lopez Trade Faces Growing Buzz

Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Trade Rumors
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks made a significant trade to acquire Damian Lillard before the 2023-24 NBA season, but a combination of injuries and defensive struggles prevented them from realizing their goals.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Bucks could be angling to make fundamental changes around Giannis Antetokounmpo by favoring “a more versatile style of defense,” which “raises the question of whether Brook Lopez has a future” in Milwaukee.

Lopez was pursued by the Houston Rockets last summer and was “nearly snagged” by them, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Milwaukee retained Lopez on a two-year, $48 million contract.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

After appearing in only 13 games in the 2021-22 regular season after undergoing back surgery, Lopez has been highly durable for the Bucks, only missing seven combined regular season games over the past two seasons. However, he’s already 36 and has a mainly aging supporting cast around Antetokounpmo, so Milwaukee may need to pivot soon.

Lopez’s salary expires next season, and he is set to earn $23 million. Milwaukee has an opportunity to capitalize on his value as a trade asset while they still can. The Bucks may need to get creative and bold to make the necessary roster changes to return as an even more competitive roster, particularly if a style change is desired.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

Lopez averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 79 games this season. He shot 48.5% from the floor, 36.8% from beyond the arc, and 82.1% from the free throw line. There is no denying he remains an impactful player on offense and defense.

Any team seeking to add a stretch-five that protects the rim in win-now mode should strongly consider pursuing Lopez. It’s a valuable skill set that can help provide necessary floor spacing while being a defensive anchor for a scheme that wants to deploy drop coverage.

The Bucks do need to be meticulous before making significant changes considering the pressure to contend with Antetokounmpo and Lillard as a tandem. Previous attempts to play a different way have backfired under Adrian Griffen, who was fired midseason before being replaced by Doc Rivers as the team’s current head coach.

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