Milwaukee Bucks: Grades for Brook Lopez’s one-year, $3.4 million deal

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 22: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 22: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /


Signing Brook Lopez at the bi-annual exception is a real coup for the Bucks, and the kind of obvious value deal that has been quickly recognized by fans and analysts around the NBA.

Considering Milwaukee’s consistent inconsistency at the center position, some of the low-cost early free agency deals for capable big men had left many Bucks fans more than a little mournful, but as ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noted, they ultimately got a better option at a better price.

"“Having used the bulk of their nontaxpayer midlevel exception to sign forward Ersan Ilyasova, the Bucks had only their smaller biannual exception to use on a center. Nonetheless, they ended up getting a more accomplished player than the Brooklyn Nets (Ed Davis) and Indiana Pacers (Kyle O’Quinn) did with the $4.45 million room midlevel and a more reliable one than the Washington Wizards (Dwight Howard) did with the $5.3 million taxpayer midlevel.”"

Having recently turned 30, this deal was always going to result in the lowest salary Lopez has earned since the conclusion of his rookie contract. Still, Lopez’s average salary of just just under $18 million per year dating back to the summer of 2012, highlights just how much his $3.4 million deal plays to Milwaukee’s favor.

Lopez may have started to regress just a little bit from his peak ability, but as a player who has demonstrated improved durability as his career has gone on, he still has a lot to offer.

The California native has clear and well-documented defensive deficiencies, yet to focus in on his strengths, only DeMarcus Cousins could arguably match the range of offensive skills and pedigree that Lopez provided among this year’s class of free agency big men.

Inking Lopez to a one-year deal is both a good and a bad thing, as it retains the kind of flexibility the Bucks will need next summer to re-sign Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon, but also creates the possibility of Lopez becoming a key cog in Milwaukee’s system only to be free to leave or in need of a new pay day of his own in the very near future.

In the trade-off, accepting that risk in exchange for what could be a one-year bargain is still incredibly valuable and beneficial to the Bucks.