NBA free agency rumors: Re-signing Brook Lopez 'is a priority' for Bucks

The Bucks hope Brook Lopez remains with the team.

Re-signing the 31-year-old center this summer “is a priority” for Milwaukee, according to a report from ESPN, which cites unidentified league sources.

Lopez averaged 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game for the Bucks this season. He shot 45.2% from the field and a career-best 36.5% from 3-point range on 6.3 attempts per appearance.

“I’ve always tried to have fun when I go out and play basketball,” Lopez told reporters earlier this month. “I obviously love playing the game. But no question I’ve been having a great time here. It’s just a fun group to be around, a fun coaching staff, fun teammates, great teammates, unselfish, just the best guys in the world.

“I think it’s just embedded in the team. We have trust in one another that we can all take and make shots if we’re open, and honestly, we’re frustrated with each other if we don’t shoot it when we’re open. If we have a good shot, we’ve got to take it.”

Lopez signed a one-year, $3.3 million contract with the Bucks in July. Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer praised the center’s contributions to the team in early May.

“Brook is incredibly important to us,” Budenholzer said at the time, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think defensively … him being on some smaller guys and being able to move his feet and, in the paint, being able to protect the rim. … All the things he’s able to do for us defensively, it continues to stand out and be a huge positive.”

The Bucks finished the season with an NBA best 60-22 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, where they fell to the Raptors in six games.