Brook Lopez has arguably been the most important player on the Milwaukee Bucks' defense since the day he arrived. Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo has played better at times, but Lopez is the most important one, if that makes sense. He’s basically the system. But that system is now not as effective as it used to be.
Is Lopez the one to blame for that? Probably not. He’s not playing his best, but how could he when he’s been more helpless than ever. But, on the other hand, the drop coverage system is now really showing its cracks (which have always been there but have never been this big) and this might be the time for the Bucks to move on. And since that would mean trading Lopez, this might be a good time to break down the pros and cons of this idea.
The only real asset?
We’ll get to the reduced impact he's having this season in a bit, but let’s first focus on the market. Milwaukee needs a point of attack defender, but cannot offer an interesting trade package for it. That’s just how it is.
Bucks fans can talk themselves into a Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, and or MarJon Beauchamp package, but let’s be real: What would any team want that for? They are valuable players, but it’s hard to see why a team would think they fit into their future better than a solid defender.
A package like that is unlikely to be the best offer, especially when names like Dejounte Murray are being put on the table. And we probably don’t need to go this far. Is that good enough to move the needle for Chicago or Brooklyn and get Alex Caruso or Dorian Finney-Smith? Doesn't seem so.
Lopez, on the other hand, is a proven defender and a solid shooter that, in a good context, can be a strong addition that teams might be intereseted in. This way, the Bucks could possibly add a solid perimeter defender and a backup center in return, filling the two biggest roster flaws. So, if the Bucks want to be relevant in the market (and they have to) Lopez could be the player to trade.