Milwaukee Bucks: Grades for Bobby Portis’ two-year, $9 million deal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 20: (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The “People’s Champ,” Bobby Portis, is back with the Milwaukee Bucks on a two-year contract, worth $9 million total, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

It is incredibly welcoming news to see the big man returning after there was much skepticism amongst the fanbase that Portis would leave for more money elsewhere. And for all intents and purposes, he absolutely could have sought out a much more desirable deal!

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Portis signed a two-year contract worth $8 million in the previous offseason, which was also seen as a massive bargain. That deal included a player option in the second year, which he obviously declined after outplaying it without question.

It was the Bucks’ first signing of the free agency period and arguably their most critical. The 26-year-old became a quick fan favorite off the bench because of his high-energy play style.

After bouncing around the league for the first few years of his career, Portis seems to have found a home in Milwaukee. He spoke glowingly about the city and organization in recent media appearances and that undoubtedly played a role in his re-signing with the team.

The value of Bobby Portis’ new contract for the Milwaukee Bucks

The minutiae of Portis’ contract is actually very important for the Bucks’ flexibility for the rest of the offseason, aside from just taking a below-market salary (once again).

On the surface, Portis signing for $4.5 million per year is incredible value for the Bucks. Below that, though, is that Portis signed for his Non-Bird rights, which is a 120 percent raise from his previous year’s salary. What this means for Milwaukee is that they still have their full taxpayer mid-level exception left to utilize on the free agent market, which is up to $5.9 million dollars.

Portis could have very easily either left the Bucks in free agency for a bigger deal or demanded the $5.9 million that the Bucks had available be used towards re-signing him. Instead, he chose to sign for his 120 percent raise, which allows the Bucks more flexibility to sign other free agents that could help in their quest to repeat. Had Portis decided to take the full taxpayer mid-level, the Bucks would have been left to only be able to offer free agents veteran minimum contracts.

Portis absolutely did the Bucks a favor in signing the deal he did. Additionally, Portis reportedly has a player option in the second year of the contract (same as his first contract with the Bucks). Without trying to look ahead too far, I would assume Portis declines his player option next season and signs a much larger extension with the team next year.