There’s a lot of chatter amongst Bucks’ fans lately about potentially trading Brook Lopez. While Milwaukee has not shown any indication of getting rid of Brook, there’s a definite possibility he could be moved before the deadline if the front office determines they can upgrade. Keep in mind, if a trade happens, it’s with the Milwaukee’s assumption the addition(s) help them this season as they aren’t looking to rebuild. With that being said, let’s adventure into the possible deals that could be made!
Lopez Goes to the Bulls
Bucks Receive: Zach Lavine
Bulls Receive: Brook Lopez, DJ Wilson
One very intriguing scenario would be sending Brook to Chicago for a young and explosive piece. Zach Lavine is an exceptional young scorer. At the age of 25, Lavine is scoring 27 points per game this season and 41% from behind the arc. While he isn’t great defensively, the added scoring could do wonders for the Bucks to compete with the Brooklyn Nets.
Lopez is one of the best rim defenders in the league, but it seems he may have lost a step. His post scoring is good but under-utilized most of the time in the Bucks’ offensive system. Meanwhile, his three point shooting hasn’t been the same ever since his first year in Milwaukee. Last year he shot just 31.4% from three and he’s made 35.2% so far this year. While he has slightly improved this year he is very streaky when it comes to his outside shot.
With Lavine being on a relatively cheap contract for a young star ($39M/2 years), Milwaukee could swing Lopez before he declines further for an up and coming all star. His defensive liabilities could be well masked by the great defense of Giannis, Jrue and Middleton. The Bucks likely would have to give up some draft capital as well to make the Bulls take this deal but it could be a great move for Milwaukee’s championship goals.
If the Bulls want to do a full rebuild, this trade would help shed some salary along with receiving an expiring contract in DJ Wilson and potential draft capital. Lopez could give them a veteran presence to guide their other young players. While this swap is unlikely, it’d be very interesting if it became possible.
Brook to Houston
Bucks Receive: PJ Tucker, Danuel House
Rockets Receive: Brook Lopez
This trade scenario might work well for both teams involved. Since the departure of Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets have disbanded the idea of having Tucker as their primary center. No longer utilized offensively, Tucker doesn’t score a lot but he is efficient with the shots he does take. He is a career 36% three point shooter and this year is hitting 35%. Putting him on a team where he’s meant to defend down low and primarily hit threes is similar to how Lopez is used. The big difference is that he is on an expiring contract as opposed to Lopez, who still has two more years left after this season.
Danuel House on the other hand gives Milwaukee another solid scorer off the bench who can guard the SG or SF position. He’s a good three point shooter also, hitting 36.7% for his career and about 35% this year. At the age of 27 and on a cheap two year contract, he would be a great addition to the bench. Outside of Portis and Forbes, the bench has been pretty shaky for Milwaukee and could use another solid player.
The Rockets likely want to move on from Tucker as he no longer fits their system and might want to add someone like Lopez who would allow them to play Christian Wood at the PF spot depending on the opponent they’re facing and provide good rim protection when needed.
Noel and Knox to Milwaukee
Bucks Receive: Nerlens Noel, Kevin Knox Jr
Knicks Receive: Brook Lopez
This deal could be an ideal fit for both sides as well. New York would get a solid player to potentially push them into the playoffs for the first time in since 2013. Meanwhile the Bucks would get a very good defender and a young scorer. Noel (26) and Knox (21) provide Milwaukee with youth and cap space for the future.
While Noel isn’t much on offense but is still very much a capable rim defender. Additionally, he is also a much better rebounder than Lopez. Noel would serve as the lone true center on the roster for defensive purposes.
On the other side, Kevin Knox provides a very young scoring option with defensive potential. Shooting 39% from three this season, he can knock down the open jumpers that will be provided by Giannis, Jrue and company. Standing at 6’7″, Knox possesses great potential as a versatile defender similar to Khris and could serve as his primary back up.
Trading Lopez would allow the Bucks to play both Giannis and Portis in the starting line-up. Portis so far has shown the ability to shoot, defend, and rebound well and could unleash a whole new level to this team. Adding solid young shooting in Knox and a good defender in Noel essentially replaces Brook but with more youth. This move would also open up cap space for moves in the future.
When researching for this article there honestly weren’t a lot of good trade options I could find that could work salary-wise. With that being said don’t be surprised if Milwaukee holds onto him for the rest of the season. Brook is still a more than capable defender and is currently hitting a fair amount of his three pointers despite losing a step. The big downfall of Lopez for the Bucks is the length of his contract. With him being on the books for two more years beyond this season, Milwaukee might try to trade him for before his stats really drop off. If they do, you can bet they’ll be looking for guys on expiring deals, or youthful players with upside that can make an impact this year.