Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Favored to re-sign Bobby Portis in free agency?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

With one day left until 2021 NBA Free Agency begins, no question remains more significant for the Milwaukee Bucks than the future of Bobby Portis.

After playing a key role in the team’s title run, Portis expectedly opted out of his player option that would have seen him earn $3.8 million next season. He certainly exceeded that value as he gave the Bucks a reliable second unit rotational piece, and given the team’s financial limitations, Portis seemingly played his way out of Milwaukee’s price range in free agency.

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However, long-time NBA writer Marc Stein revealed on Sunday that opposing teams have “tangible pessimism” that they will be able to lure Portis away from the Bucks once free agency officially begins on Monday.

Considering the most Milwaukee’s front office can offer the forward this offseason is their $5.9 million exception, this news from Stein is certainly an interesting spin on the entire Portis situation.

The Milwaukee Bucks would love to have Bobby Portis back as they look to defend their title as World Champions next season

After inking a team-friendly deal with the team last offseason, Portis was a seamless fit with the Bucks from day one.

Understanding that his role involved scoring, rebounding, and hustling on every play, the big man played every possession like it was his last. Portis would have a stellar regular season with the Bucks by averaging 11.4 points while shooting impressive career-highs in field goal percentage (52.3) and 3-point percentage (47.1) while hauling in 7.1 rebounds and dishing out 1.1 assists per game. While he did not get many Sixth Man of the Year votes, Portis was certainly one of the better reserves in the league during the 2020-21 regular season.

Yet, it was during Milwaukee’s postseason where Portis truly caught the attention across the NBA landscape. After getting booted from the rotation during the team’s second round series against the Brooklyn Nets, Portis would reclaim his spot in the lineup for the latter two rounds against the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns, giving the team a massive boost off the bench. It only seemed right that Portis would help Milwaukee deliver the final blow to Phoenix and win the NBA Finals in Game 6 by delivering 16 points off the bench.

It was his never-ending motor and intense presence that helped Portis cement his status as an easy fan-favorite for the Milwaukee fanbase, being greeted with “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!” chants whenever he stepped on the floor in Fiserv Forum. The fans would undoubtedly like to see Portis back with the Bucks next season, and it is starting to shape up like that might be more of a reality rather than just a pipe dream.

Only time will tell, but it will be compelling to see if Portis will indeed take Milwaukee’s $5.9 million offer, which will unquestionably be on the table. Much like last offseason, opposing teams will counter with much more desirable deals, but Portis previously made it clear that he came to Milwaukee due to his desire to compete at the highest level and that money was not a factor.

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After hoisting the Larry O’Brien at the end of the season and carving out a perfect role for himself, it seems like sticking around might not be such a bad idea for the newly-dubbed NBA champ.