Ranking the 7 best NBA players who can't be traded until Jan. 15

Teams cannot trade players who signed contracts using Bird or Early Bird rights this offseason until Jan. 15. Here are the seven best players about to become available.

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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brook. . Center | Bucks. 89. . 5. . Brook Lopez. Brook Lopez. player

Brook Lopez is a 16-year veteran in the NBA and has spent his last five seasons with the Bucks, so it's unusual that he was signed using Bird rights. Since his first season with the Bucks was a one-year deal and then he re-signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2019, after his four-year deal was up, he was eligible to be extended. The Bucks used his Bird rights to extend him on a two-year, $48 million deal in the offseason which restricts him from being traded until Jan. 15.

With the Milwaukee Bucks acquiring Damian Lillard in the biggest trade of the offseason, Lopez is still having a good year. He's averaging 13.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists, on .502/.352/.783 shooting splits. His numbers are slightly down from what they were last year because of Lillard dominating the ball more but, Lopez is averaging a league-high 2.8 blocks per game.

Even at the age of 35, Lopez is still having a great defensive impact for the Bucks and has quietly been a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Since the center has been one of the best rim protectors in the NBA and can stretch the floor, he is the perfect big man for the Bucks.

Lopez has been the perfect running mate next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. With how great Malik Beasley and the other role players are shooting along with Khris Middleton slowly coming back, the Bucks have been dominating on offense. Their defense has struggled a lot this season making Lopez even more important.

Unless the Bucks are getting someone like Anthony Davis or Joel Embiid, it's safe to say that Brook Lopez is an untouchable player for the Bucks. Just because he can be traded doesn't mean he will.