2. Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova will be effective
In the time before Jabari Parker eventually signed his two-year, $40 million dollar deal with the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks addressed the immediate future by signing veterans Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova. The additions, while not the sexiest of signings, will allow the Bucks to get front-court value for about $10 million.
Lopez is the Bucks first legitimate center since the days of Larry Sanders (who is still on the Bucks salary cap). Lopez might be a bit past his prime, but at the Bi-Annual exception there is no question that he can be a factor for the Bucks. Lopez fits a similar role that Al Horford played with in Budenholzer’s system with the Hawks. Now they won’t blow you away with athleticism, but both are intelligent and can stretch the floor. Lopez stats last year weren’t great as the Lakers opted to play younger guys on their roster, but per 36 minutes he averaged 19.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Lopez can slide right into a starting role with the Bucks and will subsequently take some load off of Thon Maker and John Henson.
Ilyasova on the other hand was a valuable piece for a playoff team last season with the 76ers. He brings so many little things that are important to a team such as taking charges, hitting threes, and being a multi-positional player. Another plus to bringing him along is his relationship with Mike Budenholzer. Ilyasova had played 72 games across two seasons in Atlanta with Budenholzer averaging 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. Ilyasova is the perfect role player because he is always ready to play and will benefit your team even if he doesn’t score a single point. His versatility will be great in the playoffs as he can matchup against players like Marcus Morris and Serge Ibaka. This will allow players like Giannis and Middleton to focus their energy on the offensive side of the ball.