Following the salary dump of Ersan Ilyasova to the Detroit Pistons earlier this week, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to target two of the top free-agent big men when the market opens in July.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Milwaukee will pursue centers Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks) and Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets).
Two free agents Milwaukee intends to pursue in July according to ESPN sources: Big men Tyson Chandler and Brook Lopez
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2015
After picking up the non-guaranteed contracts of Shawne Williams and Caron Butler in the aforementioned trade, Milwaukee will have enough financial assets to make a move for a top-end free agent or two.
Lopez, a former All-Star, can opt-out of a deal that will pay him $16.7 million in 2015-16. It was also reported back in April that Nets officials expect Lopez to opt out in order to receive a long-term deal on the open market. Based on Lopez’s past injury issues and a relatively healthy 2014-15 campaign, it makes sense for him to strike while there’s a solid market for his services. He’s coming off a season that saw him put up 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Chandler, who is more of a defensive presence at this point in his career, is an unrestricted free agent. He played pretty well in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, and could provide a solid interior presence for a Bucks squad that surprised many by earning a playoff appearance this season.
With a solid young core to build around, head coach Jason Kidd and company might be one or two player moves away from making a major dent in the Eastern Conference. Either of these two players would make sense here.
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