Bucks Swap Lopez for Rising Big Man in Surprising Trade Proposal

The Milwaukee Bucks pull off a blockbuster trade in the latest proposal by The Athletic.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the quietest teams of the offseason so far. In the first four days of free agency, they have largely kept their powder dry as they look like they will most likely bring back the same core from a season ago.

This is a massive risk. The Bucks were disappointing in the 2023-24 season, never quite looking like a championship contender before being bounced in the first round by the Indiana Pacers. Therefore, Bucks fans were hoping for at least a few moves to retool around Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

However, they will probably still not like the latest mock trade proposed by James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. In this potential trade scenario with the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee sends Brook Lopez and a future first-rounder to get promising young center Jalen Duren in return.

BroLo Duren

The idea behind this trade is that the Bucks would get out of Lopez's $23 million salary for next season while getting younger, more dynamic, and athletic. Yet, giving up one of your only remaining first-round picks while getting a worse player now doesn't make too much sense for a team that is trying to win a championship right now.

Lopez is 36 years old and will likely show further signs of decline next season. At the same time, he has played 78 and 79 games, respectively, in back-to-back seasons. He is still one of the best defensive centers in the league with an ability to completely shut off the rim. The combination of elite rim protection and high-level shooting ability that he provides is rare and valuable in the NBA.

Plus, as intriguing and talented as Duren is, he is not ready to contribute at the highest level. He is only 20 years old, makes a ton of defensive mistakes, and is not a good offensive fit next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks should consider moving on from Brook Lopez as they should explore all trade possibilities to improve around Lillard and Antetokounmpo. However, they can't afford to lose one of their four best players for the unknown. The championship window for the Bucks is the next few years and the front office needs to act accordingly.

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