Lopez never developed into more than a complementary contributor after the Phoenix Suns selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft. That said, he enjoyed a resurgence after the 2019 All-Star break, averaging 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks across 24 appearances.
It was actually something of a surprise he carved out a large niche for himself with a young, rebuilding Bulls squad this past season, but his strong play in the second half warranted the playing time. He also served in a veteran leadership role.
McCollum and the Blazers Snapped Postseason Losing Streak for "Jennifer"
Stars Invest in Plant-Based Food as Vegetarianism Sweeps NBA
The NBA Got Some Wild Techs This Season
Jarrett Allen Is One of the NBA’s Hottest Rim Protectors
Wade's Jersey Swaps Created Epic Moments This Season
Westbrook Makes History While Honoring Nipsey Hussle
Devin Booker Makes History with Scoring Tear
29 Years Ago, Jordan Dropped Career-High 69 Points
Bosh Is Getting His Jersey Raised to the Rafters in Miami
Steph Returns to Houston for 1st Time Since His Moon Landing Troll
Lou Williams Is Coming for a Repeat of Sixth Man of the Year
Pat Beverley Has the Clippers Stealing the LA Shine
LeBron Keeps Shredding NBA Record Books
Young's Hot Streak Is Heating Up the ROY Race with Luka
LeBron and 2 Chainz Form a Superteam to Release a New Album
Wade's #OneLastDance Dominated February
Warriors Fans Go Wild After Unforgettable Moments with Steph
Eight Years Ago, the Nuggets Traded Melo to the Knicks
Two Years Ago, the Kings Shipped Boogie to the Pelicans
ASG Will Be Competitive Again If the NBA Raises the Stakes
In mid-January, he told Haynes he desired to play for a postseason contender, but he also remained "invested" in the Bulls' rebuild while he stayed on the roster:
"I don't think there's an NBA player that doesn't want to be on a winning team, a playoff team. I feel like I'm kind of smack dab in the middle of the prime of my career. Who doesn't relish playing in playoff situations? That's something very appealing and whether that's something the organization and myself come together and decide, that's something we want to work towards with this team, or whether that's something that's going to happen somewhere else, I'm just going to keep grinding. I think right now we definitely aspire to be a winning team, and I want to help out with that."
Joining a team on which his offensive role will likely be reduced could actually help his value.
Lopez was a positive defensive contributor for the Bulls last season, but he ranked 48th out of 72 qualified centers in offensive real plus-minus (minus-1.98), per ESPN.com.
Joining a Bucks roster featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and others will take a lot of the offensive burden off his shoulders.
Playing a reliable two-way game has always been his calling card. He should return to that role after arriving in Milwaukee, and he should provide valuable depth in the process.