The Wizards appear to have landed a defensive-minded center, agreeing to terms with free agent Robin Lopez, who played with the Milwaukee Bucks last season. According to NBA writer Keith Smith, it’s a one-year contract for slightly less than the full midlevel exception.
League source: Robin Lopez has agreed to terms with the Washington Wizards.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 21, 2020
Unfortunately, it’s the wrong Lopez — at least for on-court contributions at either end. His brother, Brook, was a good starter and an All-Defense level defender for the Bucks last season. Robin...was a great locker room presence who’s well liked and respected by teammates. His best contributions in Washington will likely be providing maturity and leadership.
On the court last season, Robin Lopez was ineffective — a below replacement level 38 PPA (in PPA, 100 is average and higher is better; replacement level is 45). His offensive rating (points produced per 100 individual possessions) was nearly 11 points below average. His shooting from the floor was acceptable (57.7% from two-point range; 33.3% from three), but 18.4% of his possessions ended in turnovers and he shot just 52.8% from the free throw line.
His rebounding was anemic — about the same number per 100 team possessions as Davis Bertans, who is not known for his rebounding.
Defensively, he rated well below average in the defense part of PPA, he ranked 62nd out of 72 centers in ESPN’s Real Plus Minus Metric, and near the bottom among centers in Jacob Goldstein’s Player Impact Plus Minus.
Signing him to a backup role would be palatable at a lower salary. I think this move is a mistake. The Wizards would have been better of re-signing Ian Mahinmi at the minimum for another year.