NBA executive says Milwaukee Bucks have run their course and are on cusp of aging out of contention

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have won just one playoff series in the past two seasons after winning the 2021 NBA title.

At least one Western Conference executive believes the Bucks have run their course and are on the cusp of aging out of contention.

“But outside of [Giannis] Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have an old core,” Ric Bucher wrote. “[Khris] Middleton turned 32 in August and injuries have aged him beyond that. [Brook] Lopez is 35. Jrue Holiday, who has a player option for next season, is 33.


“‘That team has run its course and is a year or two away from aging out of contention,’ said a Western Conference executive.”

Lopez, the oldest of the four core players mentioned, was selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft following a two-season stint playing college basketball at Stanford University. He averaged 12-plus and six-plus rebounds in each of his two seasons as a member of the Cardinal.

The 7-foot-1 big man’s best season of college basketball came during his sophomore season, the 2007-08 season. Lopez was one of the top players in the nation, as he averaged 19.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.1 blocks per game in 27 appearances with the Cardinal (25 starts).

Those numbers were good enough for Lopez to earn all-conference honors.

His contributions on both ends of the court translated into a whole lot of wins for the 2007-08 iteration of the Cardinal. They finished the season with an impressive 28-8 record and made it all the way to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, where they lost to the University of Texas by a final score of 82-62. Lopez scored a team-high 26 points in the loss and converted 10 of his 22 field-goal attempts.

The 35-year-old has played for three teams — the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Bucks — across his 15 seasons in the NBA. He averaged 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and a career-high 2.5 blocks per game in 78 games played with the Bucks during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts). Lopez also shot the ball with impressive efficiency from the field, as he converted 53.1 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts.

The Bucks rewarded Lopez for his excellent play during the 2022-23 regular season with a lucrative two-year, $48 million extension in July.

The big man may be a bit long in the tooth at 35 years old, but he is undoubtedly one of the better centers in the NBA today.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.