Reports: Bucks to keep Lopez, Middleton, Hill
NBA.com Global on Jul 01, 2019 08:37 AM
FILE - Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez reacts to his three-point basket during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
NBA.com staff report
The Milwaukee Bucks climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings in the 2018-19 regular season. Much of that was due to an offense that thrived on 3-pointers, including a barrage of them from center Brook Lopez.
The man dubbed "Splash Mountain" by Bucks faithful will apparently be back in the mix for a few more seasons with Milwaukee. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Lopez will sign a four-year, $52 million deal once free agency opens tonight. The news was also confirmed by Matt Velasquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Once free agency opens at 6 PM ET, Brook Lopez is planning to sign a four-year, $52M deal to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Can confirm the @wojespn report that Brook Lopez is planning to return to the Bucks on a four-year, $52 million deal when free agency begins.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 30, 2019
The 11-year veteran had a standout year with Milwaukee, averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.2 blocks per game. Perhaps his greatest value was as a 3-point shooter, where he connected on 36.5% and sank a career-best 187 3-pointers.
In addition, the team's other big-name free agent, All-Star swingman Khris Middleton, is also expected to return, per the same sources.
Once free agency opens at 6 PM, All-Star Khris Middleton plans to return to the Milwaukee Bucks on a five-year, $178M contract, league sources tell ESPN. The deal is expected to include a player option on final year.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Can confirm the @wojespn report that Khris Middleton plans to return to the Bucks on a five-year deal worth $178 million.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 30, 2019
This deal is for the maximum number of years but not the maximum amount of money.
With max raises, salary would be expected to start at ~$30.7 million.
Middleton last season put up 18.3 points while shooting 37.8% from three, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.0 steals.
After agreeing to trade Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers, Milwaukee will reportedly re-sign George Hill to keep at least some of its backcourt depth. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted that Hill has agreed to a three-year, $29 million contract.
After being traded from Cleveland mid-season and struggling through injury, Hill came to life in Milwaukee's run to the Eastern Conference finals, averaging 11.5 points while shooting 41.7 percent from 3. The 33-year-old combo guard provides a needed and steady hand at point guard in the wake of Brogdon's departure, and should serve as the primary backup to starting playmaker Eric Bledsoe.