When the 2017-18 NBA season ended for the Los Angeles Lakers, Brook Lopez expressed his desire to re-sign with the Purple and Gold and gave them a huge discount in free agency as long as they could turn to a legitimate playoff contender. Unfortunately, when the Lakers succeeded to acquire the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James, they didn’t even consider the idea of bringing Lopez back to the fold.
Instead, the Lakers controversially signed four players – Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley – whose fit with LeBron James was a huge question mark. Rondo, McGee, and Stephenson have somewhat managed to prove that they deserve to be part of LeBron’s team. However, as of now, Beasley has been a non-factor for the Lakers.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Lakers’ decision to sign Michael Beasley over Brook Lopez is one of the “biggest 2018 NBA free-agency regrets.”
“The Los Angeles Lakers needed to find a center and more shooting this summer. They could have found both in Brook Lopez, who started 72 games for them last season. They opted instead for Michael Beasley, who last made 50-plus starts in 2010-11. L.A.’s big-man itch was bad enough it had to add Tyson Chandler in early November. And the shooting remains undistinguished, with the club perched 16th in both three-point makes per game (10.8) and percentage (35.0).”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) December 19, 2018
Brook Lopez would have given the Lakers a starting caliber center who fits well in the modern NBA. Lopez’s ability to space the floor would have made it easier for LeBron James to penetrate the basket. However, instead of having a big man of Lopez’s caliber, the Lakers are left with two traditional centers, JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler.
When he was snubbed by the Lakers, the 30-year-old center decided to sign a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. As of now, Lopez continues to impress and has been taking more three-point shots compared to his combined stints with the Brooklyn Nets and the Lakers. This season, he is averaging 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In a recent interview with Zach Lowe of ESPN on The Lowe Podcast, Brook Lopez said that he’s surprised that the Lakers didn’t even try to bring him back in the recent free agency. Lopez admitted that he wanted to play in Los Angeles, but as of now, he’s very happy that he signed with the Bucks, calling it the “best situation possible.”