Bobby Portis provided the Milwaukee Bucks with the much-needed spark in Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks. Instead of injured two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (hyperextended left knee) Portis played with a playoff career high of 22 points. He added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals over 35 minutes in the 123-112 win over the Hawks.
Brook Lopez, Kris Middleton and Jrue Holiday also performed sensationally, but it was Portis who made the loyal Bucks roar more than any other player at the Fiserv Forum. The Fan favorite and the enthusiastic tall man had the crowd on his feet early and often, and sang his name several times in celebration.
– Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 2, 2021
Antetokounmpo’s availability for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals is unclear. As such, Portis could play an important role in deciding whether the Bucks will move into their first NBA final since 1974 at 3-2 in the series.
While Portis’ role this postseason has been largely dictated by matchups, he has performed well when he’s had enough playing time. Portis made a major contribution to the Bucks during the regular season, scoring 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per competition while shooting a career high of 52.3 percent out of the field. He also shot the top 47.1 percent of his career at 3-pointers, the third best mark in the NBA.
As a result, Portis could face a big payday if he chooses the freelance agency. Portis has a $ 3.8 million player option for the next season. His deadline to unsubscribe from the deal is August 1st – the day before NBA Free Agency officially begins.
Portis will most likely get out of its cheap deal. Players who produce in the playoffs almost always get a raise in the open market. Assuming Portis announces its current pact, let’s examine three vacant agency passages for the 26-year-old tall man.
3. Sign again with Bucks
After Milwaukee’s decisive game 5 win against Atlanta, Bobby Portis said he made “the best decision of his career” by joining the Bucks last off-season.
“Coming here was the best decision of my career.”
– NBA (@NBA) July 2, 2021
Portis came to Milwaukee to win and things are going according to plan. The Bucks are about to make an appearance in the NBA finals. Portis hadn’t had much team success since joining the NBA in 2015. His only playoff trip came in 2017 as a member of the member Chicago Bullswho lost to them Boston Celtics in the opening round.
After Portis failed to reach the playoffs with the Knicks last season, he was more motivated than ever to play for a contender. In the midst of a deep playoff run, Portis “found peace” in Milwaukee.
– Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) July 2, 2021
Made for Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/HLzoCxXzy4
– Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 2, 2021
The problem with Portis returning to Milwaukee is his contractual situation. The Athletic’s John Hollinger explains it all here:
Bobby Portis’ deal turned out to be a steal for the Bucks as he was one of the best backup big men in the league. The downside for Milwaukee, however, is that he’ll be a gonzo after that year. The Bucks don’t have Bird rights and can only offer him a 20 percent increase in last year’s salary ($ 4.35 million) unless they take advantage of their $ 6 million taxpayer exemption on mid-range Level to keep him. And most likely, even that won’t be enough.
Would Portis be ready to take on such a small contract again after this season? Maybe he loves playing for the Bucks so much, but he could get more elsewhere.
2. Reunion with the New York Knicks
The New York Knicks enters the NBA offseason 2021 with the most of the cap space in the league. As such, they’ll be connected to every free agent, especially those looking to cash in on a productive playoff run.
Bobby Portis played for the Knicks in 2019-20, recording 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game. In the summer of 2019, the Knicks signed him to a two-year pact for $ 31 million – the second season was a $ 15.75 million team option that the Knicks didn’t pick up. They wanted to bring portis back, but at a cheaper price. Portis surprised many when he signed his cheap deal with the Bucks, but he was dying to play for a title contender.
While Portis has been motivated to play with a deal this season that has underpaid him compared to production, there are no guarantees that it will be the case next season. The Knicks are flushed with cap space and are no longer building after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Updated post-lottery projections of the cap area for 2021:
1 Knicks – $ 51.3 million
2 spurs – $ 48.9 million
3 Thunders – $ 37.5M
4 underdogs – $ 34.3 million
5 raptors – $ 23.1 million
6 grizzly bears – $ 22.8 million
7 hornets – $ 20.4 million
– Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 23, 2021
If Portis returned to the Knicks, he would play most of his minutes with the 5th Star Striker. Julius Randle will devour most of the minutes in the power forward. The Knicks could certainly use another great man, especially with Nerlens Noel who will be a free agent.
Portis, one of the league’s top reserves despite its subpar defenses, could serve as a backup hub for Mitchell Robinson, who has struggled to stay sane in the past.
The Knicks would have to give Portis more long-term security, perhaps a three-year contract in the $ 39 million to $ 42 million range, to bring the big man back.
1. Bring talent to Miami Heat
The Miami Heat urgently need help in court. Bam Adebayo, a 2020 All-Star, is the only great man to write home about on your list. The precious Achiuwa showed lightning bolts in his rookie year and could eventually become a rotation player, but the 21-year-old is in the works.
Bobby Portis could play a big role in the Heat. He’s played 20.8 minutes per competition this season, but that number could go up significantly if he goes to Miami.
Swept by the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, The Heat saw firsthand the impact Portis can be on the bench. Although Portis didn’t even crack the 20-minute plateau against the Heat, he managed to score double-digit hits three times in the sweep.
Miami is in the NBA’s top 10 cap-space for 2021, so it could attract the big man financially. Plus, the Heat are only a year away from reaching the NBA Finals, so they have a winning culture.