The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Milwaukee Bucks’ only major move was to acquire Patrick Beverley from the Philadelphia 76ers. Along with that addition, the front office also made the move of trading fan-favorite Robin Lopez to the Sacramento Kings recently.
Coming in from the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, Lopez joined the Bucks to play backup center to his brother, Brook. In 18 games he played this season, the 7’1″ big man posted averages of 1.1 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 4.1 minutes per contest.
In contrast, Beverley’s career averages of 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game will come in handy for the Bucks as the regular season approaches its end soon. But more than the numbers, the point guard’s reputation for bringing a sense of grit to the locker room is the far more valuable upside of Beverley to Milwaukee. This is required to fill in the void left by Jrue Holiday when he was traded in the offseason for Damian Lillard.
Lopez’ departure from the team wasn’t an easy one to make, according to general manager Jon Horst. In an article written by Eric Nehm for The Athletic:
“Hard decision, hard move. Because you even saw it just recently, Robin (is) not only a great person, a great teammate. Robin helped us. At this point in the season, with 30 or so games left, we had to make a decision. … We couldn’t add to our team in any other way unless we had a roster spot.
We had to decide if getting that versatility and trying to add to the team in some of the ways we think can help us differently was more important than having Robin in that spot. Thats a really really tough decision, a decision I had to make, and, hopefully, it was the right decision. You’ll never know, we’ll find out.
Now, we’re on to trying to figure out who is available and how we can make this team better. The whole thing is always about trying to win and trying to win now. And we think having that roster flexibility in the short term, obviously we’ll fill it, we’ll sign somebody is another way that we can get better and improve the team. Can’t tell you when. I’m not even exactly sure with who or what it will look like, but we will do that,” Horst said.
As much as everyone loved Lopez, the need to improve and prepare for the postseason holds more weight. Only time will tell if the decision to get Beverley and let the beloved big man go will turn out well in the coming months.