After locking up Khris Middleton on a new long-term deal, the Milwaukee Bucks turned their focus in free agency to Brook Lopez.
Negotiations between the two sides went on for quite some time, as it seemed like Lopez had a legitimate interest in joining the Houston Rockets. However, the Bucks ultimately retained their starting center in the end, having inked the veteran to a two-year deal worth a hefty $48 million. Fans have been discussing the deal since it was announced, so let’s grade it.
The financial aspect of Brook Lopez’s deal with the Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks spared no expense in re-signing Lopez. Leading up to free agency, not many analysts thought Lopez would get this much money on this deal. For example, Brian Sampson of Forbes predicted that the big man would ink a two-year deal worth $32 million. That wasn’t a bad bet at the time, but with the Houston Rockets reportedly offering Lopez a deal of around $40 million for two years, the Bucks had to up their offer mightily, which they rightfully did.
Would the Bucks have liked Brook Lopez to take a bit of a pay cut? Most likely, but coming off one of his best seasons to date, Lopez was due for a raise, and if the Bucks weren’t going to give it to him, the Rockets gladly would have. Letting Lopez walk would have opened up a little bit of money for the Bucks to utilize elsewhere, but not enough to justify losing him, especially when looking at the current free agent market and what players remain. The Bucks would have had a difficult time trying to replace Lopez with what money they had.
It’s a lot of money for a 35-year-old center, but that’s just the price Milwaukee had to pay to keep its starting center in town.