Can Robin Lopez play 'Nene role?' Wiz GM thinks so


Monday, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard addressed the media for the first time since signing free agents Davis Bertans, Robin Lopez and Raul Neto. Sheppard delivered his fair share of zingers but none arguably more complete than his assessment of what he believes Lopez can bring to this Wizards team.

"I hate to compare player-to-player but Robin [Lopez] has a lot of the same vibe that Nenê [Hilário] gave us when we acquired him," Sheppard said. "You look at Nenê's numbers he wasn't necessarily always the best rebounder but you noticed his guy never got a rebound."

Nenê was a staple of the Wizards organization between 2011 and 2016. He averaged 12.0 points, and 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals. He was most known for his bone-crushing screens and treacherous defense...as well as this tiff he had with then Chicago Bull, Jimmy Butler.

"You did notice he brought a lot of physicality and people didn't really mess with us," Sheppard continued. "Go back some playoff games and ask Jimmy Butler how Nenê's handshake is -- he would validate."

Lopez, who turns 33 in October, isn't close to the shot blocker his brother, Brook, is however he's been a better-than-average defensive big his entire career.

"I think Robin gives us that toughness, that presence, we need," Sheppard said. "He also give Thomas [Bryant] a compliment, and a vet he can lean on as he continues his progression."