Kings Free Agency Target Profile: Brook Lopez
Welcome to KHTK’s Kings free agency profiles! Here we’ll be breaking down some of the top players the Kings should target in free agency, analyzing their career numbers, fit with the Kings and potential downsides. We’ll also assign a priority score to each player, signifying how strongly the Kings should consider pursuing a given free agent.
Considered one of the best low-post scorers in the NBA just a handful of seasons ago, center Brook Lopez has completely adapted his game to fit a big-man’s new role in the modern NBA. Lopez was averaging 0.2 three-point attempts per game four seasons ago. That number rocketed up to 6.3 this last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lopez embraced a whole new role with Milwaukee in order to stay on the floor, buying into spacing and perimeter clear-outs to fit alongside the 2019 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Lopez’s job was simple on the offensive end — keep the defender away from the paint and knock down the open three when available. The 31-year-old seven footer shot a career high 36 percent from beyond the arc last season.
His role on the offensive end may have changed drastically, but he mostly stayed the same on the defensive side with solid interior defending, excellent rim protection, and consistent rebounding. Lopez added a career best 2.2 blocks per game to his all-around solid 2018-2019.
Floor spacing, three-point shooting, rim protection and rebounding. Yep, that’s pretty much everything the Kings need. Lopez fills all the boxes while adding a veteran contributor to the locker room.
Sacramento may not need the high volume of threes that Lopez took in Milwaukee, but they could absolutely use the spacing. With Marvin Bagley expected to move into the starting lineup as a primarily around-the-rim scorer, having a front-court partner who can get out of the way without removing himself completely from the play makes all the difference.
It’s been a long time since Sacramento has had an interior defensive presence that consistently changes shots and challenges drives. Lopez does it all and then some, substituting smart rotations and positioning over freak athleticism in the paint.
Like Al Horford, Lopez isn’t getting any younger and will probably command a pretty penny to come to Sacramento. The Kings wouldn’t necessarily have to offer a long-term contract to the 11-year veteran, but an immediate overpay is likely unavoidable.
There are better, younger options on the market to address the Kings’ needs, especially when it comes to rebounding. Lopez is a consistent rebounder, but his playing style limits his overall opportunity as a glass cleaner. He averaged just under five rebounds per game last season.
The Kings could do a lot worse than Lopez if they are looking for a great, short-term fit, and aren’t afraid to spend their money. If they find a way to get a three-year deal signed with a team option on the end of it — it’s a home run for Vlade Divac and the Kings’ front office.
Priority Score: 8/10