Why a reunion with Robin Lopez makes sense for the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Three Dog Night said that one is the loneliest number, so how about instead of one Lopez, the Milwaukee Bucks solve their problem with not having enough depth up front by bringing back Robin Lopez?

He wouldn’t be the sexiest name out of all the potential free-agent big men but he would absolutely fill the need that the Bucks have regarding adding another big behind his brother Brook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Bobby Portis (if he returns).

The logic behind the Milwaukee Bucks bringing back Robin Lopez

Going into the season, everyone could tell that there was a significant lack of depth in terms of the Bucks’ big men. There were only three NBA caliber bigs on the roster and while the league is still trending small, you need more than three serviceable bigs to survive an 82-game regular season.

Once Brook Lopez went down, it put a lot of strain on Antetokounmpo and Portis to do more things defensively to cover up for the loss of Lopez. So, to avoid that problem again (knock on wood that Brook’s back is fine long-term), a reunion with Robin Lopez would be a very good solution.

First of all, Robin showed that he can fill some of what Brook does for the Bucks in terms of his drop coverage. He doesn’t play it as well as his brother, but he’s still a player with a great feel for the defensive end and is a big body that can clog the paint to force tough shots at the rim.

In his lone season with Milwaukee, opposing centers shot under 42 percent against him and opponents shot under 45 percent overall against him. By comparison, opposing bigs shot 42.2 percent against Brook and overall opponents shot under 43 percent against him. Brook made the All-Defense team that season!

I’m not saying that Robin should have made it as well but that head coach Mike Budenholzer found a way to use him effectively on the defensive end so that he wasn’t getting eaten alive by opposing wings and guards.

The big concern was that Robin became unplayable in the playoffs as he only played in three of their 10 playoff games that season. The good news here is that Robin won’t be the primary backup to his brother anymore! He’ll simply be a depth big that can be an innings eater in the regular season to help his brother maintain a low minute total through the 82-game schedule so that he’s rested for the playoffs.

Offensively, he’ll need to get back into the role that Milwaukee had for him when he was here. He shot over one 3 per game (1.6, actually) with the Bucks and that’s the only time in his career he’s done that. Fun fact, he shot 105 3s with Milwaukee in 2019-’20 and has shot 75 combined in every other season of his career.

He shot the 3 at a decent clip that season (33.3 percent) but has essentially abandoned it every other season as he’s been under 30 percent (except last year but he only shot six 3s). He has an awesome hook shot that opposing bigs can’t stop even though they know it’s coming but he wouldn’t be able to use it as much if he returned to the Bucks if he shared the floor with Antetokounmpo. A Robin and Portis lineup could be interesting since Portis would provide the spacing, however.

Lopez isn’t the only former Buck that would make sense for a reunion this summer but he would make for a very useful signing if he wanted to return to Milwaukee.

Next. 3 former Milwaukee Bucks for the team to pursue in free agency. dark

Free agency opens on July 1st and the Milwaukee Bucks will be actively looking to make tweaks to their roster in the hopes of getting back to the NBA Finals.