What bringing back Bobby Portis would mean for the Milwaukee Bucks

May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

While nothing is official and many things can change between now and when free agency officially opens in July, but things certainly are looking promising in regards to the Milwaukee Bucks keeping both Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis.

Connaughton said all the right things in his exit interviews and seems like he wouldn’t want to play anywhere else. Portis, on the other hand, was expected to have many suitors and could get a bigger payday from another organization. However, the sense is that he’s going to spurn those offers and remain with the Bucks.

Yeah, we went through this last season but being able to keep those two (Portis in particular) means a lot more than simply bringing back one of their best free agents.

Bobby Portis remaining with the Milwaukee Bucks is big for the organization

Even though the Bucks won a title less than a year ago, there’s always going to be a stigma about being in Milwaukee and that it won’t ever be the “glamor market” that Los Angeles or Miami are. It has been difficult for the Bucks organization to get free agents to come over.

Of course, winning changes a lot of things and the Bucks have done a lot of that the last few seasons under head coach Mike Budenholzer. In fact, at 213 wins since Budenholzer became head coach, the Bucks have won nearly 20 more games than any other team in that span.

But being able to bring Portis back, not once but twice, is a sign that things have changed.

Typically a player that would come to the Bucks on a cheap, one-year prove-it deal would bolt the next season for a bigger payday. Portis had that chance but he stuck around because, well, they won but also he felt that this was the best place for his career and he took a discount to stick around.

He had an even better season in regards to his personal stats this year and got extended run as a starter. He was put back on the bench when Brook Lopez returned, struggled in the playoffs, and the team fell short of expectations.

Portis could have seen that as a reason to move on. He proved to the league that he could be a starter for a really good team. He shot the 3 efficiently and improved dramatically on defense. There’s film of what he’s best at and other coaches could try to replicate that success.

He had many suitors after his first deal expired following the championship and he has a bunch of suitors again because he’s good. In the past that has typically meant that a player would move on from Milwaukee.

But he’s (reportedly) willing to stick around for (likely) less than what he can get on the open market. Even for a championship team, that’s big for a small market organization which has struggled to keep their successful players in recent history.

I don’t want to place too much importance on Portis specifically, he’s great and coming back is big for the Bucks’ championship hopes next season. But this is the culture that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Budenholzer, and the rest of the organization have cultivated.

Guys want to play for the Bucks because they know this is a winning organization that can help them improve their careers. It’s a reason why they could be able to tweak their roster with a limited budget to do so.

Teams that win get certain privileges no matter where they’re located. Enjoy this feeling, Bucks fans. Remember how it felt only a few years ago when acquiring Corey Maggette was seen as a big deal. The expectations have changed as the team has won more and it’s been great to see.

Next. 3 reasons the Milwaukee Bucks must re-sign Pat Connaughton. dark

The Milwaukee Bucks have changed the perception of the organization drastically in recent years and hopefully it’s a change in the culture that can last long after those who established it are gone.