Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking the top 5 centers of the last 10 seasons

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Greg Monroe
MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 13: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks centers of the last 10 seasons – No. 2: Greg Monroe

One of the biggest free-agent signings in recent Bucks history, Greg Monroe, clocks in at number two after spending two full seasons with the organization before being traded early in his third season. Monroe may not have had the long tenure that Henson had or a championship like Portis, but Monroe was very good in his two seasons with the team.

An old-school big man who liked to get his points around the basket, Monroe’s style of big man was slowly getting phased out of the league when he signed with the Bucks. He still found ways to be effective, though. In his 165 games with Milwaukee, Monroe averaged 13.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game. His first season as a Buck is worth the highest single-season win shares among Bucks centers in the last 10 seasons at 7.5. That number is also the eighth-highest among all Bucks players in that time. His second season is worth 5.6 win shares, the fourth-highest among Bucks centers.

Despite his game being a little outdated by the time he was traded, Monroe played at a high level in his two seasons with the team. He got a big contract in free agency and immediately delivered, with one of the best seasons from a Buck in recent memory not named Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton. Shoutout to Moose.

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks centers of the last 10 seasons – No. 1: Brook Lopez

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as Brook Lopez is one of the best defensive centers in the league and has revitalized his career with the Bucks. While he remains a solid low-post presence, Lopez has developed a consistent 3-point shot that forces teams to guard him out on the perimeter. He is one of the most important players of the Budenholzer Era for the Bucks and they don’t have the success they’ve had without him.

Lopez has played 219 games for the Bucks so far (218 starts) and averaged 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 34.3 percent from 3 on over five attempts per game. He’s right behind Henson for most win shares of the last 10 seasons at 17.4 despite playing nearly 200 fewer games, and all three of his seasons are in the top six for single-season win shares among centers. His 445 total blocks are the third-most in the entire NBA since coming to the Bucks in 2018-19. He made the All-Defense second team in 2019-20 and was 10th in Defensive Player of the Year voting that season.

The transformation Lopez has made at both ends of the floor has been remarkable, almost becoming a totally different player in the latter stages of his career. He’s been a great fit alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt because of his shooting on offense and ability to protect the rim on defense, allowing Antetokounmpo to become the best version of himself. Despite some of the criticism he takes from some fans (both of the Bucks and opposing teams) and some media for being slow or not being able to play a mobile brand of defense, Lopez continues to find ways to remain effective. He’s quickly become one of the best centers in Bucks history, and the more he plays, the more he will cement that legacy.

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It started with honorable mention Michael Carter-Williams and has ended with Lopez, the top five players of the last 10 seasons at each position for the Milwaukee Bucks.