Milwaukee Bucks: Details revealed on new two-year deal for Bobby Portis

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Almost an hour and a half into 2021 NBA Free agency, the Milwaukee Bucks received the news that an entire fanbase had been holding their breath for.

First reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Bobby Portis will be returning to the Bucks on a two-year deal worth $9 million. Just as his initial deal with Milwaukee last season had, the second year of this contract will be a player option. After he played a crucial part in their title run this past season, the Bucks will be delighted to bring back the 26-year-old to defend their title.

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First and foremost, this deal is far below what many projected the big man would get once he entered free agency, but it is clear that Portis was willing to take yet another discount to stick around with the Bucks. Charania followed up his initial reporting that Portis turned down more significant offers from the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks to stick around with the Bucks, which undoubtedly only heightens his already sky-high fan-favorite status within this fanbase.

While bringing Portis back would have made Bucks fans happy no matter how they executed it, the specifics in the contract only make it sweeter. While it was initially believed that the Bucks would utilize their $5.9 million Taxpayer MLE to bring back Portis, Spotrac contributor Keith Smith notes that the team re-signed the big man by using his Non-Bird Rights, meaning that they can look to use that $5.9 million entirely on another free agent. Talk about Portis being a team player.

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It was rather obvious that Portis was a tailor-made fit for Milwaukee from the moment he signed with the team during the last offseason. Mentally, he came in solely focused on winning and brought an edge to this team on a nightly basis. On the floor, the big man had a solid regular season showing by averaging 11.4 points while shooting career bests in field goal percentage (52.3 percent) and 3-point percentage (47.1 percent). He was Milwaukee’s most productive reserve during that timeframe, doing his part on a nightly basis.

Portis would soon make the playoffs for just the second time in his NBA career, and it was full of ups and downs as he would find himself sitting on the sidelines for a majority of the second round. Yet, Portis kept his ego in check and understood that his time was coming. Sure enough, he made his return to the lineup against the Atlanta Hawks, playing a major role in that series, particularly after Giannis Antetokounmpo went down with a brutal knee injury. He would make a name for himself in the NBA Finals versus the Phoenix Suns by giving the Bucks quality minutes off the bench en route to their title win.

Rarely has a fanbase ever embraced a role player to this level, but as evidenced by vibrant chants of “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!” filling Fiserv Forum whenever he stepped on the court, this city and the fanbase it possesses has a special connection with him. Perhaps carving out such a fitting role for himself while being backed by an entire city helped make this an easier decision for Portis, although he could have gotten much more money elsewhere.

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Whatever the case might be, I think I speak for all Bucks fans when I say we are glad that Portis is coming back for more.