The Los Angeles Lakers hit it big this offseason by agreeing to a four-year, $154M deal with LeBron James. And sure, that’s a pretty high point from which to start at, but since then, things have gone downhill.
First, their additions aside from LeBron have included the likes of JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo. Meanwhile, they lost Julius Randle to the Pelicans, and are now staring at an even bleaker frontcourt situation.
This leaves the Lakers with a big man rotation of McGee, Ivica Zubac, first-round pick Moritz Wagner, and, well, that’s it. There’s still plenty of time left in the summer, but the available frontcourt talent is slowly fading away. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers address this issue.
As for the Bucks, this is a fantastic bit of business; Lopez is a great fit to play at center next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
After trading away Greg Monroe last season they were super thin in the frontcourt — literally and figuratively. Lopez is a fairly solid rim protector and will give them a big body to deal with the likes of Andre Drummond, Enes Kanter and Hassan Whiteside, who ate the Bucks alive last season. With Lopez, the Bucks shouldn’t get bullied as much on the glass or in the paint.
The offensive end, though, is perhaps more interesting. Lopez has turned himself into a pretty solid 3-point shooter, knocking down 34.5 percent of his 4.4 attempts per game last season. His ability to space the floor will be big for multiple reasons. For one, the Bucks were a pretty bad 3-point shooting team last season, finishing 22nd in the league at 35.5 percent, and Lopez gives them another option from downtown. Furthermore, because of his shooting ability, he can draw opposing bigs away from the paint, which will create more driving lanes to the basket for Giannis.
Getting a veteran big man who can help on both ends of the floor for just $3.4M is some good work by the Bucks, and Lopez should really help their team next season.