Milwaukee Bucks: Regrading the notorious Bobby Portis signing from 2020

Jul 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle
Apr 22, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The on-court fit for the Bobby Portis signing almost a year later for the Milwaukee Bucks

Portis could not have fit in any better with the Bucks in his first season, and there’s reason to believe he’ll have a bigger role next season as well. Portis slotted in perfectly as the backup center to Lopez and provided a much different look than what the Bucks had in previous seasons.

Following backups such as Robin Lopez, Portis was a drastic change. He came with much more mobility, less rim protection, more shooting, as well as an overall more dynamic offensive player. Portis was a solid perimeter shooter prior to coming to Milwaukee, shooting a career 36 percent clip on 2.4 attempts per game, which included a 39.3 percent season on nearly four attempts in 2018-19. In Milwaukee, though, Portis took it to another level by connecting on 47.1. percent of his 2.4 attempts from three per game; per 36 minutes, that’s over four attempts per game.

He posted his highest true shooting percentage of his career at 59.8 percent, five percent better than his previous career-best. Most of that came from his blistering 3-point percentage, but he maintained the solid midrange efficiency that he’s had throughout his career.

Portis’ high 3-point percentage was the beneficiary of getting some incredibly open looks in the Bucks offense, playing off of stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, he was able to get a lot of wide open looks. In fact, according to, he shot 56 percent on those wide open 3-point looks. His percentage on wide open 3-pointers was the second highest in the league last year behind the Nets’ Joe Harris (56.3 percent).

On the defensive end, we may have seen Portis’ best season yet. He set a career-high in essentially every advanced defensive metric and really took steps to become a better, more consistent and more versatile defender with the Bucks. He also set career highs in his defensive rebounding, steal, and block rates.

You shouldn’t confuse Portis for an elite rim protector or future All-Defensive team candidate, but he did a really good job to get significantly better. He knows that Budenholzer won’t play him in the playoffs if he doesn’t keep improving as a defender, so look for more steps forward from Portis this season.