The Los Angeles Lakers surprised a lot of people when they decided not to re-sign Brook Lopez during free agency this summer, including Lopez himself.
In an interview on “The Lowe Post” with Zach Lowe of ESPN, Lopez said that he was taken aback by the lack of motivation on the Lakers’ part to bring him back for a second season:
“I was a little surprised (they didn’t come after me harder). 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.”
Lopez went on to sign a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks for the veteran’s minimum, but he admitted he would have liked to stay in Los Angeles:
“Yeah, 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 and just, 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.”
Just how well have things gone for Brook in Milwaukee?
This season, Lopez is averaging 11.9 points per game while shooting a career-high 36.7 percent from behind the arc, on 6.9 attempts per game. He’s also swatting 1.9 shots per game, which is just a fraction short of his career-high (2.1), all while posting the highest box plus-minus of his career.
The only other player over 7-feet tall averaging at least 10 points while shooting above 35 percent from behind the 3-point line and blocking at least 1.5 shots per game is Karl-Anthony Towns. So it’s safe to say things worked out for Lopez, as they did for the Lakers.
JaVale McGee might not be the floor-spacer Lopez was — or should I say, he’s not allowed to be — but he’s been one of the Lakers’ most valuable players this season.
McGee has missed just two games this season with flu-like symptoms. The Lakers lost both of those games, and they were against teams that are below .500 on the season.
McGee is also having a career year himself. Through 29 games with the Lakers, McGee is averaging 11.8 points while shooting 62.6 percent from the field and blocking 2.6 shots per game, the fourth-most blocks per game in the league.
Here is the list of players averaging at least 10 points while shooting at least 60 percent from the field and blocking at least 2.5 shots per game.
- JaVale McGee
That’s it. That’s the list.
Would it have been nice to see Brook Lopez back in the purple and gold? Sure, but it’s hard to argue that both players aren’t exactly where they’re supposed to be.