The Houston Rockets came into the offseason with plans to destabilize the Eastern Conference. After coming to terms on a three-year, $128.5 million agreement with Fred VanVleet, they were working hard to steal Brook Lopez from the Bucks. Ultimately, Lopez returned to Milwaukee for two years, $48 million, and according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets had a similar contract offer.
Losing Lopez would have been a significant step back for the Bucks that they probably wouldn’t have been able to recover from this season. Although they’re fine for now, they are limited in ways to improve the roster this year. But for the first 24 hours of free agency, their mortality was on bright display as they absolutely could not afford to lose Lopez. This iteration of the Bucks could be closer to finished than we think, which could lead to questions surrounding the future of Giannis Antetokounmpo.