Brook Lopez for Monta Ellis: The Milwaukee Bucks' Insane Missed Opportunity

Haddon AndersonAnalyst IMarch 16, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 03:  Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets reacts against the Miami Heat at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.The Heat defeated the Nets 108-94.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks made a splash during the deadline week by acquiring potent scorer Monta Ellis from the Golden State Warriors.

Ellis will pair with Brandon Jennings to form a backcourt that's surely capable of putting up big numbers.

However, it interestingly came out that, after the Bucks made this deal, the New Jersey Nets offered them big man Brook Lopez for Ellis.

The Bucks turned this trade down and decided to maintain Ellis.

Ellis is a great scorer, don't get me wrong, but the Bucks had the opportunity to acquire a 23-year-old big man who has ten or so quality years ahead of him.

If you think about it, the Bucks dealt center Andrew Bogut, who has career averages of 12.7 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per outing (and is often injured), to acquire Ellis.

They then could've traded Ellis for Lopez, who has career averages of 17.4 PPG and 7.5 RPG (and while he's been injured this season, he didn't miss a game in his first three years).

At the end of the day, they could've tossed away Bogut and landed Lopez. Lopez is clearly a more efficient player and four years younger.

Plus, what do the Bucks truly need?

Ellis will help them to a degree, but he's a trigger happy guard who wants the ball in his hands.

Sounds just like Brandon Jennings, doesn't it?


The Bucks already have a high-quality guard who can handle the rock and create plays in the backcourt.

Adding another player who's essentially just like Jennings was not a primary need for the Bucks.

Adding Lopez, on the other hand, would've solidified Milwaukee's front court.

He could've been paired with emerging youngster Ersan Ilyasova, which would've given the Bucks two blossoming big men to pair with Jennings.

This scenario makes way more sense for this season and the future, and this is why it was insane for the Bucks to not make this deal for Lopez.

The truth is that skilled centers are difficult to find in the NBA.

Lopez is no Dwight Howard, but he's definitely a top-tier center in the league and the Bucks could've had him.

Trigger happy scorers like Ellis, on the other hand, aren't nearly as hard to find. He'll help Milwaukee this year, but the Bucks could've quickly gotten scary for years to come if they would've landed Lopez.

This has the potential to be a situation they look back on with deep regret. There's really no reason why they shouldn't have pulled the trigger on this deal and acquired Lopez.

There's no explanation for this now, nor will there be an explanation in the future.