The NBA trade deadline is here, and after swinging a deal for Patrick Beverley a short while ago, the Bucks will open up a roster spot by flipping little-used backup center Robin Lopez to the Sacramento Kings:
The Milwaukee Bucks are trading Robin Lopez to the Sacramento Kings, sources tell ESPN. Lopez is expected to be waived and become a free agent.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2024
The Bucks are reportedly sending cash in the deal as well, but per NBA rules, they’ll need to receive something in return. That seems likely to be rights to a former international draftee who has never/will never play stateside or a heavily-protected second-round pick (usually top-55). When we know, we’ll update the story accordingly.
As Woj notes, RoLo is not long for California’s capital, as he’ll be waived and potentially sign somewhere else for the stretch run. Though he’d played a bit more recently as his twin Brook missed time for the birth of his first child—making the now-former Buck an uncle—Robin only saw action in sixteen games this season. He was always destined to be a deep-bench option at center at his age, which he likely understood upon signing and teaming up with his brother in Milwaukee once more after playing here in 2019–20.
Many fans will be happy with this move since they saw Robin as dead weight or a waste of a roster spot, but he was a good locker-room presence and provided the Bucks with insurance at the 5 that they’ll now need to address. With their open roster spot, center depth seems to be a likely avenue for an addition.
UPDATE 1: Here are some additional details:
The trade opens up a roster spot for Milwaukee and saves $8.6M toward the luxury tax. https://t.co/0jzvRacsmD— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 8, 2024
Milwaukee were in a use it or lose it scenario with cash.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 8, 2024
This is the last time 2nd apron teams can send out cash in a trade. https://t.co/Ob2hCMfbPn
UPDATE 2: As expected, the return for Lopez is a draft-and-stash prospect, and he’s Greek! Atlanta drafted Dimitrios Agravanis as the penultimate pick in the 2015 draft and his rights have been traded a couple times since, ending up with Sacramento. The 29-year-old has spent the last thirteen years playing on a few teams in Greece’s top league with some stints elsewhere in Europe too. He’s unlikely ever to come stateside, so this is probably the only time we’ll ever bring him up unless the Bucks one day flip him in another deal.