4. Robin Lopez
In a center, the Oklahoma City Thunder value toughness, screening, rebounding and the ability to anchor the team’s defense. Just like Steven Adams, Robin Lopez fits that bill.
Lopez would give the Thunder a reserve center very similar to their starter, allowing the team to play the same style of basketball whether Adams is on the court or not. This would allow Oklahoma City to lower Adams’ total minutes in an effort to keep him healthy and fresh for a playoff run.
Although Lopez has started most of the games in his career, this past season he played primarily a bench role behind promising Chicago Bulls big man Wendell Carter Jr. The Thunder could pitch Lopez in free agency on having the same role in Oklahoma City that he had in Chicago, but with better overall results and a much higher chance at a playoff run.
Lopez is only 31 years old and coming off a season where he earned $14.3 million and averaged 9.5 points and 3.9 rebounds a game. Although the market for centers seems to be down this summer, Lopez may still be seen by some teams as a full-time starter and command more than the Thunder’s best offer, the $5.7 million Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception.