Milwaukee Bucks: 3 questions they must ask before trade deadline

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 05: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 05: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez
CLEVELAND, OHIO – FEBRUARY 05 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Questions the Milwaukee Bucks must ask before the trade deadline — What does Brook Lopez’s future look like?

Brook Lopez has been the starting center for the Bucks for three consecutive seasons now, but there are certainly questions about his future with the team.

In the past two years, Lopez had been an integral part of this team’s juggernaut status on the defensive end, helping man the middle to keep opponents out of the paint. While Milwaukee’s drop-back defensive strategy is not without its flaws, there is no doubt that Lopez’s presence on that side of the floor has helped this team.

However, there are certainly questions regarding his fit with the team as they continue implementing new schemes into their play on both ends of the floor. This was on full display in Milwaukee’s recent 114-109 loss to the OKC Thunder, where Lopez found himself in unfamiliar territory.

Lopez played just 19 minutes in the matchup and a measly five minutes in the second half before checking out with 6:58 left in the third and never returning. It was a rough outing for the big man in those limited minutes as he finished the game with a season-low two points on 1-of-4 shooting. Defensively, Lopez was also struggling, mainly to contain Thunder big man Al Horford, who consistently went at him with success.

The Bucks decided to roll with backup big man Bobby Portis for a majority of the second half instead, who had himself a night. Portis finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor in nearly 28 minutes, playing a key role down the stretch as the Bucks fell just short of the comeback victory.

Does one performance mean the Bucks should be looking to offload Lopez and promote Portis into the starting lineup full time? Not exactly. However, these issues with Brook are not exactly new developments and have been an under-the-radar concern for a while now.

If Budenholzer and the Bucks continue to experiment in such situations, Lopez’s fit with the team is certainly up in the air. Could the front office look to trade him in exchange for more adaptable pieces in the lineup? It is a valid question.