By: Jeffrey Newholm
The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly signed ten year veteran Brook Lopez to a one year contract. The seven foot All-Star center immediately fills the Bucks’ biggest need, but potentially at the risk of franchise pillar Jabari Parker.
When Giannis Antetokounmpo was just starting to emerge, Bucks fans frantically started a #monroetomilwaukee campaign. Fans supposed Greg Monroe was a needed complement. However, Monroe became a complete bust as proven by the ascendance of outside pick-and-roll, catch-and-shoot Golden State, Houston, and Cleveland. But with Giannis providing lightning strictly from the lane, the Bucks needed some form of assistance. Thankfully, Draymond Green provides a blueprint to others that a big man can also be an outside shooter. Enter Lopez.
Entering his final year in Brooklyn, Lopez was strictly a paint protector, making only three career treys. But he made 134 in 2016 and 112 in a single L.A. season. Thus he can fill a needed role as center and assist rookie Donte Divicenzo with distance shooting. The reported $3.5 million contract, however, puts the Bucks closer to the cap and further from a Parker extension. GM Jon Horst has so far been conservative with his decisions with a safe coaching pick, draft choice, and now Lopez’s contract. It remains to be seen if he will be more aggressive in pursuing Parker, a still promising free agent with a long injury record. With the conference race finally open, the offseason will be crucial as the Bucks try to finally own the future with a present claim.