Among all the Milwaukee Bucks moves this offseason, Robin Lopez certainly drew the most praise for its upside in off-court antics between he and his (slightly older if you ask Brook) brother. It seems that Brew Hoop readers also believe his on-court potential is worthy of the number eight spot in this ranking the roster exercise.
Of all their moves to bring in new players, Robin loomed as the most expensive of the fresh blood. It’s a tad surprising given Wesley Matthews appears like the arrival most in line for playing time, but Matthews cheaper deal is also likely why he’s outlasting Robin here. I don’t mind paying a tad more for big bodies, that’s a time honored tradition in the NBA anyway. Most may not garner the type of mammoth deals of yesteryear, but I think Brook and his brother will make a formidable, dependable frontline for the Bucks.
For people bearish on Robin’s ability to contribute offensively, I’d like to submit a flashback to last season, when John Henson started the 3-point parade that sent shockwaves through Milwaukee. There’s already been a template for a Bucks big who never shot from deep quickly adapting to Bud’s offensive system and spacing the floor. I would guess Robin definitely matches his career total of 3-point attempts (51) this year alone. Inside the arc, he may not have the same touch or finesse as his brother, but I still remember Zach Lowe highlighting this flippant flip shot (Lowe nicknamed it the “ice cream scoop hook”) that feels like an insult to anyone guarding him. Weirdly, he’s an elite “short midrange” shooter (4-14 feet per Cleaning the Glass), ranking in the 82nd percentile or better the last four years among bigs. Those aren’t really in the Bucks shot diet (just 13.4% of their shots), but it never hurts to have players who can capably shoot from locations your opponents aren’t expecting when they snuff out your pet plays.
The Bucks will mostly want him to get some garbage put backs at the rim, understand how to navigate the paint with Giannis penetrating and grab some mini oops when the defense collapses on drivers. I don’t think they acquired Robin for offensive purposes though. While I wouldn’t say it’s exclusively a counter to Philly’s decision to Super Size, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have another capable body defensively.
Horst likely thinks Robin can present a decent facsimile of his brother on that end where the Bucks posted an insanely stingy defensive field goal percentage at the rim (57.5%). Not having to sacrifice that while Brook is on the bench is incredible asset for this team, and while it may lead to less Giannis at center lineups in the regular season, I’m sure Bud won’t mind having to give his crown jewel a little less bashing in the regular season. Plus, the less Ersan at nominal center lineups I see, the better. The Lopez effect on the boards remains real too, even if his last year in Chicago wasn’t as pronounced a positive impact on the defensive glass.
Robin is about four years removed from playing meaningful basketball. I imagine he’s anxious to have a role on a team with intentions beyond charging headlong into baffling roster decisions and putting players through boot camp. Eighth seems like a fitting spot for the longer-locked Lopez, especially if one is considering this exercise through the lens of a potential playoff rotation. Here’s a link to the full voting results.
2019 Brew Hoop Roster Ranking
8. Robin Lopez
9. Kyle Korver
10. Sterling Brown
11. D.J. Wilson
12. Ersan Ilyasova
13. Donte DiVincenzo
14. Dragan Bender
15. Thanasis Antetokounmpo