BUCKS FREE AGENCY REPORT: Brook Lopez Signs 1 Year Bargain Deal With Bucks For $3.4M
What's the FREE AGENT SIGNING tiger?
So the Golden State Warriors definitely got the ultimate bargain deal this summer (maybe ever in NBA history) by signing all-star center DeMarcus Cousins to a real measly $5.3M for 1 year but the Bucks maybe got the 2nd best bargain deal of the summer by signing Brook Lopez to a similar deal using what little ammunition they had with their Bi-Annual Exception for only the cost of $3.4M over 1 year as well. Now Cousins is on a complete other level over Lopez but both deals were complete steals for both teams as they were only possible to make because both players are coming off of significant injuries and it's worth it to take a pay cut this season when next off season the salary cap is going to spike again and there is a major opportunity for both Cousins and Lopez to land lucrative deals. Let's dive into the details of this exciting transaction the Bucks made!
FREE AGENT SIGNING REPORT SUMMARY
So the Milwaukee Bucks without a doubt had the worst center rotation in the league last season and were also the worst rebounding team as well. Now bringing in Brook Lopez won't transform their rebounding massively since Lopez surprisingly is actually not a great rebounder given his size being 7'0"ft tall and weighing in at 265lb. but overall he is a massive upgrade over Henson and Maker and offers a unique skill set that makes him a very appealing fit with the Bucks. To get Lopez on this kind of contract to help the Bucks in the short term for 1 year is HUGE because Thon is still a project needing another year or two to develop his body and moving Henson's contract is becoming more and more important. A one year rental for a legitimate center make so much sense for the Bucks!
Now why would Brook even take this deal with the Bucks and what skills does he offer the Bucks in Milwaukee? Well first of all it's priority for Lopez to raise his stock after a down season in 2017 that included injury woes. Next season is a huge opportunity to make a big pay day with the salary cap increasing again so playing for a team on a discount this season where the opportunity to re-build his value on a team that desperately needs better center production is the biggest factor. The opportunity to have a huge bounce back season for Brook with the Bucks is a really big deal and probably influenced him heavily.
Ok so the skills he can offer the Bucks are actually really intriguing especially when you consider the price we are paying for them which is what makes this deal so enticing. There are actually very few legitimate stretch 5's in the league and I think Lopez is rightfully in that category. He shot just under 35% from range the last two seasons but he did it on 5.2 and 4.4 attempts which is way more significant. Pairing legitimate stretch 5's with Giannis is essential for maximizing any Bucks offense regardless of scheme because the Bucks need floor spacers probably more than any team in the NBA since this maximizes Giannis. In fact I won't be surprised if Lopez has a monster shooting year as he is going to be able to sit behind the arc constantly and knock down open looks all day because of how much gravity Giannis has and how much the Freak will likely be kicking it out to open shooters this season.
On top of that, Brook is actually very good rim protector and a solid enough defender to not be a liability. Plus he's just plain huge and the Bucks could really use is size down low. But above everything else, Lopez is a scorer as he has posted 18 points per game averages 7 times in his career! He's going to have big scoring nights and can probably command a huge scoring responsibility leading bench units. Overall, for the price we're paying this was a hell of a deal and there is literally no risk in the long term! Nice work Bucks!
free agent signing BENEFITS
- The Bucks get a major discount on a skilled veteran center who fits the Bucks roster composition really nicely.
- Brook Lopez is set up for a huge bounce back year after not working out for the re-building Lakers last season and not really fitting in that well either.
- Floor spacing centers are extremely important to the Bucks roster chemistry molded around Giannis and Lopez is efficient enough from the arc and on respectable volume that it will ultimately have a very positive effect on the Bucks offense.
- Lopez can take on a scoring load and be solid everywhere else which will allow the bucks to potentially rest more while having another offensive tank to rely on.
- The motivation that Brook has this season to raise his stock as high as he can to prepare for a big contract next means the Bucks might capitalize big time even if it's only for one season.
- Lopez helps the Bucks right now without any risk and gives them time a legitimate starting center for a year.
- The deal buys the Bucks time in grooming Thon Maker and finding a trading partner to move John Henson and his pricey contract without being atrocious at the 5 position this season.
- The Bucks may actually have a very solid center rotation this season relying on less minutes but more efficient minutes potentially from more players including Lopez, Maker, Henson, Illyasova, and even Antetokounmpo.
free agent signing DRAWBACKS
- Suddenly the Bucks have a lot of playable guys at the center position and there will be a lot of competition for minutes which can create conflicts on who should be getting them.
- If coach Bud runs a big rotation at center well at means that we're going to see a lot strange lineups potentially.
- If coach Bud runs a small rotation at center it means that the guys most deserving of the minutes may dominate them but could get in the way of other important agendas that can only be accomplished if everyone is getting minutes.
- Giving Thon minutes only helps is development and the Bucks really need to hit on drafting him and he's sure to lose minutes at center this season (but maybe gain some at PF?).
- If the Bucks seriously want to trade Henson well his butt sitting on the bench will not help them build his stock and I expect his minutes to be reduced heavily has well now.
- With so many centers on the roster now and each one is attached to a team agenda the Bucks will have to decide on an order of priority because you can't accomplish it all.
- If the Bucks want to maximize production and performance this season then Lopez is going to need the bulk of the minutes and they'll want to sprinkle the other 4 guys in with minutes which is fine but if priority is to move Henson and develop Thon well a reduce minutes role is not going to aide in those agendas.
- Balancing agendas at the center position will be difficult for coach Bud and the front office this season no matter how you look at it unfortunately.
ESPN 2018 SEASON REAL PLUS MINUS (CENTER) ADVANCED STATS
OFFENSIVE RPM / RANK
(+) 0.20 / Rank 11
DEFENSIVE RPM / RANK
(+) 0.06 / Rank 68
OVERALL RPM / RANK
(+) 0.29 / Rank 37
WIN SHARE % / RANK
(+) 3.94 / Rank 23
Career Per game average stats
Career Per 36 Game stats
Career Per 100 posessions Game stats
career advanced game stats
TIGER'S GRADE REPORT
TIGER FREE AGENT SIGNING PROJECTION
To be straight forward with you I really do think this deal is a home run all the way for the Bucks as there is virtually no risk and it just buys the Bucks more time with their longer term agendas at the center position while not sacrificing a ton of production this season unlike last season. I would bullishly grade this deal an A+ if it weren't for the fact that the Bucks actually have a lot of guys on the roster now that need minutes for different reasons to help the team in the short term or long term depending on which player we are evaluating. Regardless, all five guys who can play center for the Bucks this year being Giannis, Brook, Ersan, Thon, and John could all essentially be very productive this season in a likely improved system, better coaching, and isolated roles allowing them all to potentially give the Bucks very efficient and impact full minutes when put in the game. The Bucks can give other teams a lot of looks now with all these centers and regardless of it suddenly being a crowded position after adding Lopez you cannot pass on a deal like this. Brook is probably most likely hungry and motivated to have a big year and being in Milwaukee for probably just one season may be his best opportunity.
TIGER'S FINAL TAKE
My only real complaint about this deal is I do feel the Bucks are a bit crowded now at the center position and I think it's important that they all get minutes this year. However, it's a good problem to have as injuries can suddenly thin you out quicker than you think and all these guys are playable at least. In fact, reduced minute roles for everyone not named Brook Lopez maybe benefit them all and make them more efficient. I fully expect Lopez to be the starter and I think he's likely to have a really big year. The Bucks were really crafty this season with how they addressed the center position this off season and I think we'll see a night and day difference on the court this season! If coach Bud can fully maximize Lopez this season he could be a lethal scoring option for the Bucks since I expect Giannis to inherit a much bigger role as a play maker this season and Lopez may get easy assisted buckets from the Greak Freak literally on regular basis. Good work Bucks!