What if the Lakers re-signed Brook Lopez in 2018?
The later years of the 2010 decade were full of mistakes in hindsight. One of the biggest regrets might be losing veteran big man Brook Lopez in free agency in 2018 to the Milwaukee Bucks. Lopez spent one year in Los Angeles, but his skill set as a stretch five with dominant interior defense would have made him the ideal frontcourt partner next to Anthony Davis only a few years later.
Additionally, Lopez was reportedly willing to take a pay cut in order to stay with the Lakers in hopes of an NBA title. Considering the future title the Lakers won in 2020, keeping Lopez would have undeniably been the best option for Los Angeles.
Since Davis joined the Lakers, he has continually insisted on playing as a power forward rather than a center, but Los Angeles has been unable to find the right big man for the job. This summer, the Lakers were interested in bringing Lopez back in free agency until he inevitably signed a new contract with the Bucks. After missing out on Lopez again, the Lakers still made the most of their free agency, signing Gabe Vincent to fit next to LeBron James as a backcourt leader.
The Lakers likely regret losing Lopez by reigniting their interest in him this offseason. With a career average of 16.4 points, 1.8 blocks, and 6.3 rebounds per game, Lopez would fit perfectly on the Lakers team in the modern day. Lopez was one of the Bucks’ most influential players in their 2021 NBA Finals run and was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year voting in the 2022-23 season.
There is no guarantee that Lopez would not have to have been included in the trade for Anthony Davis eventually considering the size of the trade, but the potential of Davis and Lopez together is a missed opportunity the Lakers will never forget.
Finally, this moment in Lakers history may be the most regretted trade in recent Los Angeles memory.