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, Pat Connaughton
MIAMI, FL – MAY 29 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

What does Bobby Portis’ fit with the Milwaukee Bucks look like next year?

Portis could absolutely see his role expand next season.

First of all, Portis’ defense progressively got better as the season went on. With head coach Mike Budenholzer always so focused on the defensive side of the ball and this season being among the few where Portis wasn’t playing on a losing team, he didn’t let his defense slip. Second of all, with P.J. Tucker now departing to the Miami Heat in free agency, Portis will be relied upon more — barring any other potential signings yet to come in free agency.

Portis had arguably the best year of his career this past season by averaging 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and shooting a career-best 47.1 percent from three on 2.4 attempts per game. His biggest leap came in his 3-point shooting, where his previous career high was 39.3 percent on 3.8 attempts per game. Despite some of his early defensive struggles, Portis was a valuable floor spacer and one of the most consistent shooters in the regular season and playoffs.

As of right now, Portis is the lone reliable backup for Brook Lopez, but he proved he could more than hold his own in that role last season. If he can continue to progress defensively, Portis can take over more responsibility as a switchable big that won’t be played off the floor in the playoffs (such as in the Brooklyn Nets series).

All of his on-court ability pales in comparison to what he brings with his energy and how much the Fiserv Forum crowd feeds off of it. The “BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY!” chants in the playoffs became iconic and were something that Portis very much appreciated.