With the 12th spot on our list, we find Robin Lopez. The 35-year-old big man out of Stanford is entering his 16th season and 10th stop in the league. He had a short stint in Milwaukee for the 2019–20 season but signed with the Wizards after that single campaign. Following two more one-year rentals in Orlando and Cleveland, Lopez finds himself back in Cream City.
In the (unlikely) event that this article is reaching someone who isn’t aware, let me fill you in on the most notable element of Robin’s signing: he is the twin brother of fellow Bucks center Brook Lopez. Robin is one minute older and has a more interesting hairstyle than Brook, but there are other factors that separate him from his longer-tenured twin.
Brook has been a consistent starter for most of his career. While he didn’t make his first three-pointer until his seventh season in the league, the shooting ability that he developed throughout the 2010s allowed him to blend into the modern offensive era seamlessly. Robin had a similar trajectory, but he hasn’t had nearly the same statistical peaks or career accolades as his brother, and that’s totally fine! There can only be one Brook Lopez.
Enough about Brook; let’s talk about the role that Robin Lopez could have in his second stop with the Bucks.
It’s no secret that last year’s Bucks squad was kind of thin at the center position, with Robin’s twin being the only pure-five on the roster at one point. The team patched the hole with the midseason signing of Meyers Leonard, but it was an obvious area to improve in the offseason. Bobby Portis is still a valuable option at center off the bench, but Robin provides positional depth, a veteran presence, and about as much team cohesion as you can ask for. This is a team in the middle of a championship window with a first-year head coach, so I’m all for having as many adults in the room as possible.
I’m happy to have Robin on board, but I can’t say that I have the most confidence in his game at this point. He hasn’t started double-digit games or played more than 19 minutes per game in the last four seasons, so it’s hard to predict how he would fare playing a larger role in the rotation in the event of an emergency. I think we can safely forecast between eight and 15 minutes per game for Robin in the regular season, but the other bigs on the roster (Brook and Bobby) are the guys that can really carry them back to the promised land, and any additional depth is just that: additional depth.
With that being said, I’m delighted to have Robin back in town, and you should be too! If you need more convincing, here is a compilation of him knocking down threes with the Bucks in his first stint, complete with his “tea time” celebration:
Pretty cool, right? But can we really trust that we’re getting the same player from these four-year-old highlights? That’s something to think about when you fill out this poll.
Gut Check: How confident are you that Robin Lopez will be in the playoff rotation?
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1 - Not in the rotation at all.
2 - Might play a few rotation minutes.
3 - Will get some minutes, depending on the series.
4 - Will be a part of the rotation playing steady minutes.
5 - Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
Now that Robin is off the board, 11 players remain. The decisions should get tougher with each passing ranking.
The 11th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s postseason success is...
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