The Los Angeles Lakers had to make several decisions of who to re-sign and let go last offseason, and one of the more interesting choices came in regards to center Brook Lopez. A legit seven-footer who offered rim protection and floor spacing, Lopez seemed like a perfect fit next to LeBron James.
The Lakers, however, decided to go in a different direction by signing the more athletic JaVale McGee to man the center position while also bringing in veteran Michael Beasley who they believed could replace Lopez’s offensive skill set. Lopez went on to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks where he is enjoying another solid season for the East’s best team.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton was asked about Lopez and whether he would’ve helped L.A. this season and while he refused to delve into the topic, spoke highly of their time together, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I mean, that’s hypotheticals. I’m not getting into those. But he’s a good player and I enjoyed coaching him.”
It is always easy to look in hindsight at what could’ve been and there is nothing wrong with Walton refusing to do so. He has to focus on the players he has on his roster and Lopez isn’t.
That being said, Lopez was a very popular player in the locker room during his time in L.A. and Walton obviously enjoyed having him around. Regardless there is no doubt that Lopez’s game would have been a help to the Lakers and where they struggle.
Lopez is shooting 36.6 percent from three-point range on over six attempts per game. Only two Lakers shoot better from deep and both take less than half the attempts. Additionally, he averages 2.2 blocks per game this season, providing a serious impediment at the rim.
Whether or not the Lakers regret letting Lopez go is unknown, but what he could have brought to the team is clear.