Milwaukee Bucks: Expect Robin Lopez to opt-in for 2020-21

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24: (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24: (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Robin Lopez is one of many Milwaukee Bucks with decisions to make after this season, but it would be a shock if he didn’t opt-in to his player option.

With the NBA season currently on hiatus, many Milwaukee Bucks not only have to deal with major disruption to their day-to-day routines during what was shaping up to be a historic season, but they also face a new element of uncertainty hanging over their futures.

Considering there’s no clear resumption date or end date for the current campaign, players facing up to free agency, team or player options, or guarantee deadlines are left somewhat in the dark about the shape of their NBA futures.

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One such Buck dealing with that uncertainty is Robin Lopez, the veteran center who agreed to a deal with Milwaukee as a free agent last summer.

Joining his twin brother Brook Lopez with the Bucks, RoLo came to terms on a two-year contract in Milwaukee, with the second of those being a player option.

That means that Lopez at least controls his own destiny, and can simply decide to opt-in for $5 million next season to remain with the Bucks. But what is the likelihood of that being the decision that Robin makes?

In short, it would seem like a major shock if he decided to do anything else.

Robin has enjoyed a largely successful first season with the franchise, slotting into his role as the team’s backup center, and helping to further solidify much of what was already good about the Bucks’ defense.

With Robin now in place to anchor the defense, when the matchup allows it, there’s no real drop-off when Brook finds himself in foul trouble or takes a seat to get some rest.

The Bucks’ defense has performed to historic levels over the last two years, as my colleague Jordan Treske recently outlined, and that has coincided with the introduction of a drop back defensive scheme by Mike Budenholzer. Much as it does with his brother, that system is a perfect fit for Robin’s game as it essentially funnels opponents toward the rim and his shot blocking, and largely prevents him from getting isolated away from the basket against quicker guards and wings.

In a basketball sense, if there’s anything that isn’t quite to Lopez’s liking, it may be that he’s averaging just 14.4 minutes per game. Still, at this point in his career, he may be happy to do that on a contending team as opposed to playing a larger role on a lottery-bound squad.

The other element that factors into this discussion of what RoLo may do next is the market. There was already precious little cap space to go around for free agents this summer, and now with the cap potentially dropping due to loss of income, it’s going to become even a tougher spot for those hitting the open market.

In Lopez’s case, traditional centers are less valuable than ever too, so the prospect of him receiving a more lucrative offer than the $5 million he’s owed by Milwaukee seems very slim.

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With that in mind, it seems that situation, fit and finances all point to Lopez extending his stay with the Bucks beyond this year.