New rumor should have Bucks big man on his toes this NBA off-season

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Two
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Two / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

There has been a lot of talk about Brook Lopez's future with the Milwaukee Bucks heading into the 2024 NBA off-season.

With the Bucks needing to get younger and more athletic and not having many trade assets to get there, many wonder if the 36-year-old big man set to make $23 million next season could be moved. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor poured gasoline on that fire recently when he reported that he's heard rumblings of the Bucks wanting to utilize a more versatile defensive style next season.

O'Connor pitched the idea of the Bucks moving Lopez for a more versatile wing such as Bruce Brown, helping this team add the youth, switchable defense and athleticism they crave. It's an idea that many Milwaukee Bucks fans are onboard with.

Could the Milwaukee Bucks really move Brook Lopez?

Since he came to town, the Bucks have primarily relied on Brook Lopez in a drop-scheme defense, especially under Mike Budenholzer. For years, that worked terrifically, helping Milwaukee boast one of the most formidable defenses in the entire association due to his excellent rim protection. However, that wasn't quite the case this past season.

While the big man still made a mark defensively - having totaled the most contests on 2-point shots among all players by a country mile - there were times when it was tough to have him on the floor due to the defensive scheme being employed. This past season, there were plenty of times when a player would get Lopez to switch onto them and take advantage of him.

One of the reasons the drop was not so impactful this past season was due to the lack of perimeter defenders around Lopez. In the past, Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews, Jevon Carter or whoever else would slow opposing scorers down on the outside, allowing Lopez to get into position and send their shot attempt into the fourth row. Milwaukee didn't have that in their arsenal this past season.

Instead of opting to add more perimeter defenders and utilize the drop properly than they did in the old days, it appears Milwaukee may be ready to turn the page entirely based on this rumor.

If the Bucks do indeed want to run a more switch-heavy and versatile defense next season, that could certainly spell trouble for Lopez and even Bobby Portis. A more athletic big man would fit better in the lineup in that case. According to HoopsHype, the Bucks did work out Kel'el Ware, a fan favorite name in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft because of that athleticism and defensive potential he possesses.

Ultimately, only time will tell, but this rumbling should have Lopez on his toes. As long as he is in town, the prefered defensive scheme will be the drop. If they move him, it could open the door to countless more possibilities.