Grade the Trade: Warriors find perfect fit with champion big in mountainous proposal

The Golden State Warriors could benefit from finding a big who can shoot and defend. This trade would bring a former champ who fits that description perfectly
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
2 of 3

Laying out a trade between the Bucks and Warriors

The Milwaukee Bucks are an expensive team, pushing above the second luxury tax apron that now triggers penalties not just in dollars but also in team-building tools. That payroll didn't get them very far this year, as they had a tumultuous season that included firing a head coach and losing in the first round of the playoffs.

As the Bucks look at ways to retool around Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, they need to find a way to add depth with their limited team-building tools. One path to do so could be to move on from one highly-paid starter in order to get back multiple players; they cannot aggregate salaries in a deal (i.e. trade two or more players together) but they can take back multiple players as long as the total money coming back is less than they sent out.

Brook Lopez has been a crucial part of their success over the past half-decade or more, but he wasn't a favorite of new head coach Doc Rivers, and Milwaukee could play more minutes with Bobby Portis and Antetokounmpo on the court together. Doing so would allow them to shop the aging Lopez, who turned 36 years old this past season.

If Lopez does hit the market, the Warriors should pick up the phone. They can offer a package in return that would help the Bucks out with multiple rotation players without overpaying for a player near the end of his career. Here's what a deal could look like:

Bucks Dubs Brook Lopez deal

Making this trade would give the Bucks three rotation players. Kevon Looney could either start alongside Giannis or come off the bench as the backup center. Moses Moody could start at shooting guard ahead of Malik Beasley, who may walk in free agency anyways. Gary Payton II would give them the point-of-attack defender they didn't have last year.

Losing Lopez as a rim protector would be a hit to the Bucks' defense, but they would be getting back three competent defenders (and one elite one) that would better spread the defensive ability across multiple levels and not simply on the back line. They would also be getting significantly younger, part of an on-the-fly retooling around Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee may be looking for draft compensation, but given Lopez's age and the relative value of centers vs other positions, the Warriors would be providing fair value with this offer; perhaps they throw in a second-round pick to get it over the finish line.

If that option is on the table, do the Warriors make this deal? Let's evaluate whether it's a trade worth making.