A familiar face is back in Milwaukee. Robin Lopez surprisingly signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency to back up his brother Brook Lopez.
This is Lopez’s second stint in Milwaukee after being with the team during the 2019-20 season.
Lopez spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he only played in 37 games. In his last two stops with the Orlando Magic and Cavaliers, Lopez was the victim of a youth movement where he didn’t play in many games because the organizations wanted to see their younger players get game action, making Lopez’s situation on those teams tenable.
But Milwaukee added Lopez, due to the familiarity in Milwaukee, and he adds another veteran presence to this championship-contending team.
2023-24 salary: $3.1 million
NBA Experience: 14 years
Last season’s Stats: Three points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 64 percent field goal shooting, 50 percent 3-point shooting, 77 percent free-throw shooting in 8.1 minutes.
Will Robin Lopez have a successful second-stint in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee addressed their second-biggest need this offseason. The Serge Ibaka three-team deal never panned out, which left Milwaukee with virtually no depth behind Brook Lopez.
Bobby Portis isn’t a traditional center, and he isn’t an adequate replacement at that spot because his skillset is more of a power forward than a center. Lopez can still play well offensively in stretches, and the excitement will be through the roof once he hits a three, but this serves as just a depth piece for the team.
Lopez won’t bring the elite defense that Brook Lopez does, and he struggled to defend the pick-and-roll during his first stint in Milwaukee. New coach Adrian Griffin has more of an emphasis on defense. Griffin will put Lopez in situations to succeed defensively.
Being in Milwaukee for Lopez serves two purposes: one is this is already a better situation than his last two stops because Milwaukee is ready to win now, and that coincides with where Lopez is at this point in his career. He’s 35 and likely won’t play for another rebuilding team, and Milwaukee gives him the best chance to win his first championship. Two is that the vibes went up in the locker room. The 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks social media team had a field day with Lopez reenacting WWE-style wrestling moves with Wesley Matthews and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Wesley Matthews plays for the Atlanta Hawks now, so Lopez won’t have him to mess around with, and Antetokounmpo is about to be a rich man, and the team might not want to risk an injury, even if it is fake WWE-style wrestling.
Having two guys in Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Robin Lopez who will bring energy to the locker room will be beneficial to this team because, as an organization, Milwaukee is big on guys who are signing players who know their role and players who will make a positive impact for the team.
Signing Robin Lopez was a good pickup this offseason because he’s a solid backup to Brook Lopez, and the familiarity not only with Milwaukee but he was the Portland Trail Blazers starting center when Damian Lillard was there, so it lined up perfectly that Lopez is a Milwaukee Buck once again.
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