Even before their blockbuster swoop on Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks already made some big moves in NBA free agency earlier this summer. Their biggest transactions came in the form of Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez signing big-money extensions with the team that will keep them in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future.
As it turns out, however, things could have been much different for the Bucks.
Brook Lopez Nearly Walked Away From Milwaukee Bucks
The Houston Rockets was one of the teams that was heavily linked to Lopez in free agency. The Rockets were the biggest spenders this offseason, with the additions of Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks, among others. Apparently, they came extremely close to adding Lopez as well.
According to NBA insider Zach Lowe of ESPN, Houston “nearly snagged” Lopez in free agency.
Previous reports indicate that the former All-Star big man turned down up to $54 million in guaranteed money from Houston. Apparently, the Rockets offered him a two-year deal, which incidentally is similar to the extension he signed with Milwaukee in terms of the length of the contract.
Bucks Locked Up Brook Lopez
In the end, the Bucks were able to retain the services of their starting center. This came out to $48 million for two years, which is $6 million less than what he would have earned if he chose the Rockets. It’s not as if Lopez made an ultimate financial sacrifice by choosing Milwaukee over Houston, but $6 million is still $6 million.
Right now, Lopez figures to play a key role in Milwaukee’s new-look roster. He will resume his place as the starting center for the Bucks where he will play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in the frontcourt. Lillard will take on Jrue Holiday’s recently vacated starting PG slot, while the fifth starter spot still remains up in the air at the moment. New head coach Adrian Griffin has options, though.
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