This seems to be somewhat of a hot take among the Bucks fanbase, but it appears likely to me that Portis will be returning to the Bucks next season.
I feel like a lot of people have come to the conclusion that we won’t be able to pay him what other teams could offer him next year. And in a vacuum, that’s probably correct. But in reality, I don’t think that’s true with how this offseason is shaping up to be.
Currently per Spotrac, the only teams projected to have any cap space at all for 2022-2023 are Orlando, Portland, San Antonio, Detroit, Indiana, and OKC. Its difficult to imagine those teams will prioritize signing Portis and they are all non-contenders for next year. Adding a slightly older Portis to rosters that need to continue to infuse youth seems counter productive for roster building. Some of these teams might also actively want to avoid constructing more productive rosters in order to tank, with OKC and Indiana being likely candidates and Portland being another to watch depending on what happens with Lillard.
The cap is very complicated in the NBA, but I believe we can offer Portis about 11 million for next year. He might be able to make a little more than that on a longer contract for a bad team, but considering the monetary sacrifice he made to remain with the Bucks year and how much he likes being here, that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. Bobby could also just sign an 11 million dollar deal for one year with us, and then sign a larger/longer contract with us next year when we have his full bird rights.
So long story short, we’ll see what happens and there’s a lot that could change between now and the off-season. There’s also the possibility that some teams acquire more cap space through a trade, but I don’t know if teams would do that with the intention of using that new cap space in order to sign Bobby. So unless one of the few teams with room under the cap wants Portis over other better/younger free agents on the market and Bobby is cool with going back to a lottery-level squad, I think it looks relatively likely we see him come back for at least one more year in the Cream City.
With that said, what do others think about Bobby’s upcoming contract situation? And what other pending free agents on the team might we see return in a Bucks uniform next season?
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