The Milwaukee Bucks' first meeting with a high-profile free-agency target--Detroit's Greg Monroe--came shortly after the clock struck midnight under the cover of darkness. The next occurred in broad daylight under the cover of late afternoon, this time with free-agent center Robin Lopez, who last season played for the Portland Trail Blazers. Varying accounts have Lopez drawing interest from a number of other teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics (who were apparently including him, somehow, in their pitch to Kevin Love).
The Bucks have moved on from a few of their earlier rumored targets already. Tyson Chandler today agreed to sign with the Phoenix Suns on a four-year deal, while Milwaukee is reportedly unlikely to get a meeting with DeAndre Jordan and has likely broken off its pursuit.
Lopez, who turned 27 in April, has played 141 games for Portland over the last two seasons, starting in every single one. He's been remarkably durable for most of his career, missing a stretch last year due to a broken hand that looks pretty fluky. He started 82 games for New Orleans in 2012/2013 and 64-of-66 game during the lockout-shortened season prior. He obviously has plenty of starting experience and would seem comfortable occupying a low-usage role that fits nicely with core of developing offensive talent already in place in Milwaukee.
Lopez doesn't boast the same level of production as a guy like Monroe, but he could come at a discount and might fit the Bucks' needs a bit better. Frank summarized the points in his favor earlier:
He's in his prime (27) and does most everything reasonably well -- offensively he hits midrange jump shots, makes his free throws, sets screens, and crashes the glass, while defensively he's mobile, a respectable rim-defender and does all the little things to make opponents' lives difficult. The one damning number on him is (rather strangely) his defensive rebound rate, though he also led the league in defensive box-outs and the Blazers were better on the boards with him on the court.
At the rate the biggest free-agency dominoes have been falling so far, don't be surprised to see a resolution soon. However, some of the biggest names are still awaiting pitches from organizations like the Lakers and Knicks, squads who have the luxury of knowing people will wait for them. Lopez may be interested in seeing where his fellow Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge ends up before making a decision himself.