Milwaukee Bucks: 5 big men to target in free agency

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26: (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26: (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 03: (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 03: (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Robin Lopez

Brook Lopez’s volume three-point shooting may earn him a big pay day this summer, and the Bucks will just be hoping that doesn’t stretch beyond the realms of what they can afford.  If and when Brook’s return is secured, it may well be worth Milwaukee’s while to assess the market for his brother, Robin Lopez, though.

After trading away John Henson and Thon Maker over the course of the year, backup center was an area where the Bucks very obviously lacked depth late last season. The signing of Pau Gasol was designed to provide some cover, yet injury quickly put paid to that plan.

Luckily for the Bucks, Brook enjoyed an incredibly healthy season, missing just a single game for rest between the regular season and playoffs.

The combination of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson offered the Bucks’ small-ball options if Brook had missed any games, but they never really had a backup capable of filling in within the team’s traditional defensive scheme.

It seems all too easy to say the best way of replicating Brook’s defensive influence would be to also add Robin, but there’s real reason to buy into that idea. Robin is equally skilled, if not even better when it comes to boxing out, making intelligent defensive reads and protecting the rim, and would slot in quite naturally in Brook’s place.

Of course, Robin can’t quite replicate Brook’s offensive contributions, but if he was a backup that wouldn’t necessarily be all that concerning.

Whether Robin is interested in a reduced role on a contender remains to be seen, as does the market for centers more generally. This summer has long been flagged up as a potentially tough year for centers hoping to get paid, and considering the aversion to centers on draft night, there’s a real chance we’re about to see that play out.

There’s a very good chance that Robin’s best offer may come from the Bulls and he ends up back in Chicago, but using the room exception to reunite the Lopez twins would be a shrewd move if it becomes a possibility.