3 Milwaukee Bucks free agents likeliest to be back next season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Miami Heat: Kevin Love
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 26 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

2- Brook Lopez

If the Milwaukee Bucks were a train: Brook Lopez would be the engine.

The Bucks have been a top defensive team since Lopez joined Milwaukee in 2018. Lopez was sixth in the NBA in defensive rating (StatMuse.com)  and finished second behind Jaren Jackson Jr. in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Lopez played in 78 games this season (his highest since the 2018-2019 season when he played in 81 games for Milwaukee.)

While in Milwaukee, Lopez developed his outside shot and refined his game to become one of the NBA’s premier shooting big men. He is a weapon shooting from the outside, and with teams packing the paint against Giannis, it’s good to have a threat like Lopez who shoots from deep.

The downside to Lopez’s game is that he’s not quick; he’s had trouble in the past with bigs who can shoot from the outside and staying in front of quicker guards. Milwaukee has a drop-coverage philosophy with Lopez on the floor, and it’s easier for guards to get to the paint and shoot floaters due to that.

The four teams who have been eliminated from the playoffs (Clippers, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, and Bucks) all have the same problem, which is bigs on their roster who have trouble guarding outside the paint. This isn’t noticeable in the regular season, but in the postseason, every team will want to shoot threes, and that has been Milwaukee’s downfall the last two postseasons, an inability to guard the 3-point line.

Lopez will get brought back because of the center market in free agency. The NBA Draft isn’t strong, and Milwaukee doesn’t have a draft pick, so they couldn’t improve their roster in any area.