The Bucks have agreed to terms on a new deal for All-Defensive center Brook Lopez, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who reports that the free agent big man will return to the team on a two-year, $48MM deal.
There had been rumblings leading up to free agency that the Rockets were preparing a two-year offer in excess of $40MM for Lopez, so the Bucks used their Bird rights to make an aggressive bid for the big man, ensuring that the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up will continue his career in Milwaukee. Charania confirms (via Twitter) that Houston had indeed made a similar offer.
Lopez, 35, has been a huge part of the Bucks’ recent success. After spending the first portion of his career as an old-school post scorer with an aversion to rim protection, he remade his game in Milwaukee, evolving into a 3-and-D center on a perennial title contender. He won his first NBA championship with the club in 2021.
In agreeing to re-sign Lopez and All-Star swingman Khris Middleton, the Bucks have now held onto their two most important free agents this summer. Milwaukee has thus far let two rotation players, reserve point guard Jevon Carter and backup forward Joe Ingles, walk during this free agent window.
Last year for a 58-24 Bucks club — the league’s top overall seed heading into the playoffs — Lopez averaged 15.9 PPG on .531/.374/.784 shooting splits, 6.7 RPG, 2.5 BPG and 1.3 APG. That block rate was third overall for the season.