While the Los Angeles Lakers continue to map out their approach to the 2019 NBA offseason, Brook Lopez is set to test the waters of free agency once again.
Lopez had signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2018-19 NBA season following his brief stint with the Lakers. He enjoyed quite the resurgence with the Bucks after they finished with the best record in the NBA and rumors suggest that they will be looking to keep it going for years to come.
Regardless, there is still plenty of speculation regarding Lopez’s future plans for the offseason. It appears his former team could be interested again.
The Lakers reportedly are interested in bringing back Lopez for the 2019-20 season, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I just know that talking to people in the Lakers organization this week… that’s a name that has come up. This was days before the Anthony Davis trade went down, so Brook Lopez is certainly someone that intrigues at least some people in that organization.”
The prospect of the Lakers being interested in bringing Lopez back is certainly not too far-fetched. He had been part of a blockbuster trade that sent D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for him and the draft rights to Kyle Kuzma.
Despite the team’s struggles that season, Lopez had proven to be a solid fit with his newfound range from deep and effort on the defensive end. Even Lopez was admittedly surprised when negotiations for a long-term deal fell through with the Lakers, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN:
“I was a little surprised. It just didn’t end up working out. It kind of went in one direction pretty quickly. From that point, I was looking at other options. … I mean, I would have wanted to play there. But that being said, I’m happy that this worked out the way it did because it’s the best situation possible. Even comparable to playing there this season. Far and away, this season in Milwaukee has gone so well. The group we have here, the players, the staff, and the opportunity to do some big things. It’s such a great situation to be in.”
With the help of hindsight, it is safe to say that not signing Lopez was just one of the many questionable roster moves that were made last offseason. While Los Angeles struggled to facilitate their offense around LeBron James, Lopez was posting career-highs in three-point percentage (35.2), free-throw percentage (84.2), and blocks (2.2) in Milwaukee.
The Lakers could potentially look to spark up negotiations once again now that they appear to have a much clearer goal in mind following the acquisition of Anthony Davis. It will be interesting to see if Lopez still has a mutual interest in making a return to Los Angeles.