How Robin Lopez Would Fit With The Bucks


Free agency is here.

As all fans know that have been following us here at BTBP, the list of names is mighty long that have been linked to the Milwaukee Bucks.

But with the bigger names looking more and more out of reach (which was to be expected), expectations have brought all Bucks fans back down to Earth a bit.

More from Bucks News

However, that isn’t to say that the Bucks can’t find someone that could be very valuable at a more attainable price.

And now with Khris Middleton locked down to his new contract with the team, the team’s sights are set for a big man upgrade.

Could the team find that upgrade in Robin Lopez?

The Bucks are reportedly linked to having interest in Lopez and it makes sense.  Lopez is the type of guy the Bucks could really use if they’re serious about bringing in a big man.

However, when compared to the other names that the team is linked with/meeting with like Monroe and Chandler, admittedly Lopez is a bit of a step down from them.

But he can do a lot of things that those players can do and maybe even better (especially when compared to Monroe’s defensive concerns).

Lopez’s biggest strength is his rim protection.

Since becoming a full-time starter with New Orleans in 2012-13, Lopez has averaged well over at least a block per game in his last 3 seasons (1.6 in 12-13, 1.7 in 13-14 and 1.4 in 14-15, per

While those numbers may not like good when compared to John Henson, who averaged 2 blocks per game this past season, that’s a huge upgrade over last year’s primary starter for the Bucks, Zaza Pachulia, who averaged 0.3 blocks per game this past year.

Along with the rim protection that Lopez would bring, Lopez is a pretty efficient shooter as well, especially around the basket/in the paint.

Last year, for example, a little more than half of Lopez’s shooting attempts (54%) came around the basket (0-3 feet) and he made a whopping 65 percent from those type of shots.

He does have a little bit of shooting range in him as well, but his biggest strength when it comes to his scoring ability lies in the paint and/or around the basket.

Lopez is also a fine free throw shooter, as he’s averaged 76 percent from the charity stripe throughout his career.

However, one of the bigger concerns regarding Lopez is his rebounding ability.

While an excellent rebounder on the offensive end (4 oReb per game in 13-14, 3.2 oReb per game in 14-15), Lopez’s rebounding numbers on the defensive end don’t match up as well compared to his offensive output (3.5 dReb per game in 14-15).

Now that could be the byproduct of playing beside star LaMarcus Aldridge, who averaged over 10 rebounds per game in the two seasons that Lopez was in Portland, but it’s nevertheless an issue the Bucks might have if they bring in Lopez.

The biggest advantage in all of this that the Bucks could have in bringing in Lopez is his price.

Now with the team committed to Khris Middleton for a reportedly 5 year, $70 million contract, the team can still use the cap space they have left ($16 million) on a free agent like Lopez (possibly others) and use Middleton’s bird rights to go over the cap to sign Middleton.

The likely scenario would probably be to wait to officially announce signing Middleton in order to give the team the flexibility to pursue other free agents with the cap space they have.

So when it comes to Lopez’s price, there are two big factors that are in play in order to determine it.

With the cap rising and the deals that we’re already seeing at the start of free agency, contracts will look a lot higher than I think a lot of people expected to see.

However, as deep as this free agency period is, in terms of the big men that are on the market, Lopez could be a steal waiting for the Bucks.

The Bucks still have plenty of options going forward with the start of free agency finally here and Lopez looks to be a good fit, especially if the team strikes out on the bigger names like Monroe or Chandler.

It just depends on if a team doesn’t steal Lopez first.

Next: Jerryd Bayless' and O.J. Mayo's Future With the Milwaukee Bucks

More from Behind the Buck Pass