The Milwaukee Bucks fell short of their team goals for 2022-23 with their early exit in the playoffs, but individually, there were some outstanding seasons by Bucks players. One was the season by Brook Lopez. At 34 years of age and finishing his 15th NBA season, Lopez put up some career numbers, and in the opinion of some NBA pundits, may have had his best season in the league.
Lopez had the best shooting season of his career, hitting a career-best .637 of his 2-point shots and a career-best .374 from the 3-point line. His 136 3-pointers were the second-most in his career, and he led the league in blocked shots with a career-best 193. He was also selected first-team All-NBA Defensive.
While the NBA does not have an All-NBA team for players age 34 or older, Lopez would’ve been a solid choice as a first team member for that team. He was one of 34 players who played this season in the league in their age-34 season. And among those 34 players, he was one of the league leaders in several categories.
Brook Lopez had a season for the ages with the Bucks in 2022-23
Consider this, among players who played this season in their age-34 year, Brook Lopez:
· Was first in minutes played with 2,373.
· Was tied for first in games with 78.
· Was first in games started with 78.
· Was fourth in field goal attempts with 899.
· Was fourth in field goals with 477
· Was third in 3-pointers attempted and scored.
· Was fifth in free throw attempts and free throws made
· Was fourth in points scored behind Steph Curry (1,648), LeBron James (1,590), and Kevin Durant (1,366).
· Was first in rebounds with 520.
· Was first in blocked shots with 193. Second in this stat was Durant with 57 blocks.
Lopez also broke a few Bucks’ records for players age 34 or older. He fell just 40 points short of the Bucks’ franchise record for most points scored by a Bucks player age 34 or older. His 1,239 points are now second-most behind Moses Malone, who had 1,279 for Milwaukee at age 36 in 1991-92. His 193 blocks are now the fifth-most in franchise history but are the most by a player age 34 or older. His 477 field goals made in 2022-23 broke Oscar Robertson’s team record for most field goals by a player 34 or older, and his 136 3-pointers made in 364 attempts are now both team records for players aged 34 or older.
Lopez’s193 blocked shots this past season is now in the top five all-time for most blocked shots in a season by a player in his age-34 or older season, per Stathead. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 207 blocks at age 34 in 1981-82 to top this list.
The Bucks will have some tough decisions to make this off-season with regard to players, and Lopez is one of those key decisions. A free agent, Lopez’s terrific 2022-23 campaign would lead experts to think signing Lopez is a no-brainer. The max deal he can sign with the Bucks would be up to $54 million over three years.
The downside is Brook’s age. He turned 35 at the end of the season, and the Bucks’ brass will have to decide whether a long-term deal is warranted and, will Brook Lopez have a few more seasons playing at the level he played in 2022-23. Other teams will certainly be interested in him as well.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.