Milwaukee Bucks: 4 Teams that can steal Brook Lopez in NBA free agency

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 24 (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 24 (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 22 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

According to a report by The Athletic (Subscription required), the Houston Rockets are said to likely be active suitors of Lopez later this off-season. They have the cap space to make other interesting signings, too, not the least of which is former Rocket James Harden himself.

The Houston Rockets are a fairly young and interesting team. They’ve been rebuilding for a while now and are still struggling to find their identity post-James Harden.

There are clearly a lot of kinks to work out, as evidenced by their place in the standings, and interior defense is one of their weaknesses. Their interior defense is one of the reasons why they capped out the season with a 20-62 record. According to, they only defended 55.9 percent of 2-point field goals, which was the worst mark in the league in that category.

One key player in the Rockets’ interior defense is Alperen Sengun, a 6-foot-9 center who is also strong and athletic. He has a very sound offensive game that he can continue to grow on, but he’s generally not the best good defender in the post. Given his height, most other big men in the league also put him at a disadvantage down there. Other strong interior pieces like Jabari Smith Jr. have the body type to be effective defenders inside, but they lack the experience and the fundamentals.

The Rockets are also the second-youngest team in the NBA, with an average age of 23.6 up and down their roster. It’s chock full of young guys who would benefit from the presence and mentorship of more established veterans, which is why reports say even Khris Middleton is among the names that have been thrown around in possible moves for their front office.

The Rockets’ interior defense is a weakness that they will need to address if they want to be successful in the future. Signing Brook Lopez to help them start winning more games and mentor their young bigs might be a move they consider, as they certainly have the cap space to offer Lopez a more enticing contract.