Assessing The Athletic’s 2022 buyout targets for the Milwaukee Bucks

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Orlando Magic: Robin Lopez
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 24 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The Athletic’s buyout targets for the Milwaukee Bucks – Robin Lopez

When it was announced that Lopez would be undergoing back surgery and would be sidelined for an extended period, Bucks fans clamored for the team to bring back Robin Lopez, his twin brother. While a trade could still make sense for Milwaukee before the February deadline, a buyout would be even better if the veteran big man hits the open market.

The appeal with Lopez is obvious, given Milwaukee’s glaring hole at the center position following the release of DeMarcus Cousins. Although it has not been outright detrimental to Milwaukee’s overall success, there are some nights where the lack of a backup big man has hurt the Bucks. A recent example would be Milwaukee’s loss to the Toronto Raptors earlier this month, where they gave up an astounding 16 offensive rebounds. Someone like Lopez could give the Bucks another big body to have down low to protect the paint and collect those rebounds nightly when Portis or Antetokounmpo need a breather.

If the Orlando Magic do buy out what is left of Lopez’s $5 million deal for this season, Milwaukee could make a low-risk move to bring him in. The center already has familiarity with the franchise as he played there during the 2019-20 season, and he would be familiar with the players and the coaching staff. Although there is rumored optimism within the organization that Brook could be back for the Bucks this season, adding Robin as an insurance policy would not be the worst idea.