Three centers the Sacramento Kings should target in free agency

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 19: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 19: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 19: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 19: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Brook Lopez might be the least likely of the three to leave their current team, but if the Sacramento Kings can get him, look out.

2018-19 Per Game Averages:

  • Points: 12.5
  • Rebounds: 4.9
  • Assists: 1.2
  • Steals: 0.6
  • Blocks: 1.2
  • Shooting: 45.2 FG%/36.5 3PT%/84.2 FT%

In the wise (and misquoted) words of Mark Twain, the rumors of Brook Lopez’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

After a year in Los Angeles where Lopez seemed to be approaching the downside of his career, he was able to reinvent himself with the Milwaukee Bucks this season and the Sacramento Kings should take advantage.

At 31-years-old, Lopez’s resurgence was more than surprising — it was unheard of. Rarely are players able to change their style of play on the wrong side of their 20’s, and that goes double for NBA big men. Still, that didn’t stop Lopez.

light. Must Read. How does Marcus Morris fit with the Sacramento Kings?

While his numbers may not look like much, he’s so much more than counting stats. Far too often NBA teams have to choose between a center who is a plus-scorer, but a bad defender and vice-versa. Not with Brook Lopez.

Lopez’s blend of rim-protection and spacing are rare, and that’s evidenced by his plus-4.16 player impact plus-minus, sixth among all centers and 17th in the NBA. Lopez is a better defender than he is a threat on offense, but that’s why he was able to succeed with Milwaukee, and why he could do that same with the Sacramento Kings.

Lopez won’t be tasked with being the number first, second or even third option for the Kings on offense, allowing him to focus on the less glamorous end and operate a stretch-five, able to handle any kick-outs by De’Aaron Fox off drives and allowing Marvin Bagley III to work unhindered in the paint. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.

The Milwaukee Bucks, much to their front office’s chagrin, are going need to do a lot of cap gymnastics to re-sign all their players this offseason. Five of their top-six players are free agents — to varying degrees — and some, such as Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon, aren’t going to be cheap to re-sign. SB Nation’s Mitchell Maurer wrote a great, more in-depth article on the Bucks’ cap situation here, but the gist of it is: it won’t be easy for them to keep Lopez.

While it’s a near-guarantee they will do all they can to bring him back, if it falls apart for any reason, the Sacramento Kings

should

need jump into the fray.

Projected contract: two years, $28 million