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Free agent center Brook Lopez is returning to the Milwaukee Bucks after agreeing to a two-year, $48 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Bucks were able to retain both Lopez and star guard Khris Middleton this offseason, keeping the core of their 2021 championship team together around two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee was able to stave off the Houston Rockets in re-signing Lopez, who had significant interest in the veteran center.

Lopez is coming off a stellar 2022-23 season in which he averaged 15.9 points and 6.7 rebounds, his best offensive production since the 2016-17 season when he was still with the Brooklyn Nets. On top of that, he finished second in the league in Defensive Player of the Year award voting.

Lopez is one of only a handful of 7-footers who can credibly space the floor on offense — he averaged 53.1% shooting from the field and 37.4% from 3 — while controlling the paint on defense. He averaged 2.5 blocks per game and anchored Milwaukee’s top-5 defense in the regular season.

Lopez has had four seasons with at least 100 total 3-pointers and 100 total blocks, tied for the most in NBA history with Rasheed Wallace. That rare skill set makes him a perfect frontcourt partner with Antetokounmpo.

Lopez was also one of Milwaukee’s most durable players last season, playing 78 games (second on the team) while averaging 30.4 minutes. It was a remarkable turnaround for Lopez after a back injury limited him to just 13 regular-season games in the 2021-22 season.

His 193 total blocks last season were the most in a season by a 35-year-old player since David Robinson in 2000-01, and he was the oldest player to lead the league in total blocks since the stat became official in 1973-74, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Lopez is coming off one of the biggest bargain contracts in the league — a four-year, $52 million deal he signed with Milwaukee in 2019.

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