Milwaukee Bucks’ center, Brook Lopez, deserves much more than his bi-annual contract of one-year $3.3 million. Based on his current play, he’ll get that next season.
If we’re talking about pure impact, this may be one of Brook Lopez’s better seasons.
Before you bombard me with stats and the fact that he was once an All-Star and isn’t anymore, let me plead my case.
Lopez tallied a career-high eight made three-pointers against the Nuggets in November; unheard of numbers for a big man. That willingness to let fly from deep, and ability to make those shots has provided the Bucks with exemplary spacing that has transformed their game.
The veteran center also has a great post game, seemingly finding the basket at will. As far as offensive minded centers go, Lopez is in a league of his own.
Lopez’s offensive production has never been in question. As recently as the 2016-2017 season, Lopez averaged more than 20 points per game. This year, he has proven that when given the opportunity, he can easily do it again.
Many fans will remember Lopez’s stellar night against the Nuggets in early November. However, that is not the only night Lopez decided to take over. In the loss agains the Clippers, Lopez had 20 points. In the loss against the Trail Blazers, he had 22 points.
All things considered, Lopez has definitely still “got it”.
While he is only averaging 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists right now, fans cannot overlook the impact Lopez has had on the Milwaukee Bucks.
The former Stanford Cardinal provides length; something the Bucks have been obsessively searching for. Additionally, he fits the three-point shot narrative. The Milwaukee Bucks are becoming a premier three-point shooting team, and guys like Brook Lopez fit the mold perfectly.
Lopez is also highly unselfish. Some may speculate that he is a poor rebounding center, but that is simply not the case.
Any seven foot human being can grab their fair share of rebounds. Unlike some NBA big men, Lopez is unselfish and allows players like Giannis Antetokounmpo to clean the glass.
Against the Nuggets at Fiserv Forum, Lopez tallied 10 rebounds, thus proving his ability to still do work on the boards. Additionally, he managed to out-rebound opposing star center Nikola Jokic.
The point is this; Lopez can rebound, but embraces boxing out and therefore passing them up to his teammates because he is an unselfish player who only cares about winning, and not individual stats. For that reason, Giannis is averaging a career high 12.7 rebounds.
Imagine if Lopez were on a team like the Warriors. That might truly break the NBA. That would ensure that every player, one through five, could shoot the three ball at an alarmingly high percentage. That would be the most dominant offensive scoring team in the history of the NBA.
A simple contract, something to the tune of three years, $24 million, could be enough to keep Brook Lopez in Milwaukee. A deal in the $8 million per year range is nothing to scoff at, and would give Lopez a contract that will reward him for what will hopefully continue to be his positive contributions to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lopez is only 30-years-old. He has a lot of time left to contribute in the NBA. Once a player has developed a consistent three-point shot, they generally add a few extra seasons to their career too.
Take a look at Al Horford as an example. His age has begun to show. He simply cannot play as many minutes as he used to, and is slower moving up and down the court. However, he is still an efficient NBA talent due to his three-point shooting skills and overall high basketball IQ.
This is a career path that Lopez can easily follow.
By relying on his three-point shot, Lopez could be a valuable contributor to the Milwaukee Bucks for years to come. Of course, with a summer of free agency decisions ahead involving Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon, keeping him could be a real challenge, but at this point it’s certainly something the Bucks have to be open to exploring.
Lopez is a valuable factor in the Milwaukee Bucks’ quest for success. By re-signing him next summer, they could solidify their length and three-point shooting for years to come.