With lack of offers in the recent free agency, Brook Lopez agreed to sign a one-year, $3.38 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. By joining the Bucks, Lopez earned the opportunity to play for a legitimate playoff contender where he can prove that he’s still one of the most dominant big men in the league. His performance in the 2018-19 NBA season is expected to determine his value when he hits the free agency market once again next July.
As of now, Brook Lopez has shown an impressive performance as a member of the Bucks. This season, the 30-year-old center is averaging 14.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the arc. In the Bucks’ 123-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, Lopez showed his capability to be a three-and-D center.
Despite missing his first four attempts from deep, Lopez’s teammates still urged him to continue shooting. The veteran center managed to find his rhythm and finished the game with 21 points and knocked down 5-of-11 from the three-point range.
“I think he’s going to get a lot of looks this season,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The second quarter was phenomenal. It kind of balanced out; he had four great looks and he didn’t make any of them. We all felt like if we kept sharing the ball, we keep passing it, we keep making the right read and the right decision, it’ll balance out.”
Aside from being a huge threat in the perimeter, Brook Lopez also established had an impressive performance in his matchup against Sixers star center Joel Embiid. Embiid still finished the game with 30 points, but he only shot 37.5 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. With his ability to go up against one of the best centers in the Eastern Conference, Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t help himself but say that Milwaukee is “really lucky” to have Lopez on their team.
“I was thinking, how did we guard Embiid last year?” Antetokounmpo said. “Thank God, we’re really lucky we have Brook this year because he’s a big body. He can put his body on Embiid, he can frustrate him a little bit.”
If Brook Lopez becomes consistent throughout the season, it will not be a surprise if the Bucks consider giving him a long-term deal in the 2019 NBA free agency. With their goal to dominate the Eastern Conference and win an NBA championship, the Bucks need to surround Antetokounmpo with quality players like Lopez. In their next game, the Bucks will be facing the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center, where Lopez will have a matchup against young center Karl-Anthony Towns.