The Los Angeles Lakers made a number of moves this offseason to improve their roster. Arguably the more underrated, and least talked about, was the addition of veteran center Brook Lopez.
The Lakers acquired Lopez, along with the 27th pick in the NBA Draft, in a deal with the Brooklyn Nets for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. Ever since the deal went through however, there seems to have been more talk about why Russell was dealt as opposed to everything Lopez can bring to the Lakers.
One of the league’s best offensive centers, Lopez brings a lot of skill and experience to the young Lakers and SLAM Magazine ranked him as the no. 48 player in their top-50 players list:
After making just three longballs from 2008-16, he shot nearly 35 percent from beyond the arc on almost 400 threes last year in Kenny Atkinson’s uptempo system. While that didn’t help Brooklyn much in the win column, it showed that even an interior-focused 7-footer can change his game to fit the NBA’s radically altered scoring landscape. A stretch-5 who scores over 20 points a night with a slashline of .474/.346/.810 while playing pretty good defense doesn’t come around often.
SLAM also noted that Lopez should be a great fit with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball:
Brook is the perfect big to run pick-and-rolls with Lonzo because defenders need to account not only for his new-found shooting ability but also his massive frame (and wingspan) running to the rim. He’s the type of playmaking point guard Lopez has only been able to play with for fits and starts, whether it was Devin Harris, a physically diminished Deron Williams or an oft-injured Jeremy Lin.
Lopez definitely brings a lot to the Lakers on both ends of the floor as a great post player, someone who can stretch the floor, and a solid rim protector. Overall he is a huge upgrade at the center postition.
Many have pointed to second-year forward Brandon Ingram to lead the Lakers in scoring, but it is very possible that could fall to Lopez. Whether he does or not, the impact he makes on the Lakers should be great.