Bobby Portis

Bucks’ Bobby Portis To Miss Time Due To MCL Sprain

1:06pm: The expectation is that Portis will be out for at least two weeks before being reevaluated, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

11:28am: The Bucks will be without one of their key frontcourt players for the foreseeable future, according to reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, who both say that Bobby Portis has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain in his right knee.

It’s still unclear how long Portis will be unavailable. Charania’s report simply says Portis will “miss time,” while Wojnarowski hears from sources that the Bucks are working on determining a potential recovery timeline.

The recovery period for an MCL injury can vary depending on the severity of the sprain, but it typically keeps players sidelined for a matter of weeks, not days. As Wojnarowski observes, Portis missed seven weeks due to an MCL sprain during the 2018/19 season when he was a Bull. It’s also the injury that’s currently keeping Kevin Durant on the shelf — he’s expected to miss at least a month.

Portis, who suffered the injury during Monday’s win over Detroit, has enjoyed the best run of his eight-year career since joining the Bucks in 2020/21. This season, he’s averaging a double-double for the first time as a pro, registering 14.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per night through his first 47 games (26.8 MPG).

The Bucks got Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton back from injuries earlier this week and will continue to rely on Brook Lopez as their primary center, but suddenly find themselves short on depth in the middle. Veteran big man Serge Ibaka, who would typically move up the depth chart with Portis out, is away from the team as he and the Bucks look to find him a new home via trade.

21 More NBA Players Become Trade-Eligible

Today is Sunday, January 15, which means that nearly two dozen players who signed free agent contracts meeting specific criteria this past offseason are now eligible to be traded.

Most offseason signees became trade-eligible on December 15, but players who met the following criteria were ineligible to be moved for an extra month:

  1. The player re-signed with his previous team.
  2. He got a raise of at least 20%.
  3. His salary is worth more than the minimum.
  4. His team was over the cap and used Bird or Early Bird rights to sign him.

The following players met that criteria and are eligible to be traded as of Sunday:

(* Players marked with an asterisk have the ability to veto trades.)

Most of the players on NBA rosters are now eligible to be moved, though a small handful still can’t be dealt. That group includes Thunder guard Isaiah Joe, who becomes trade-eligible on Monday, Bucks swingman Pat Connaughton (trade-eligible on Wednesday), and Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (trade-eligible on Friday).

There are also several players who won’t become trade-eligible before this season’s February 9 deadline, including Lakers star LeBron James. Players on 10-day contracts are also ineligible to be dealt.

Central Notes: McConnell, Theis, Bogdanovic, Bucks

Pacers guard T.J. McConnell took a hit to his right shoulder on Sunday but an MRI showed the shoulder was “stable” and he was able to practice on Tuesday, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star reports.

“I think it was one of those weird plays where I just got hit in a bad spot,” McConnell said. “I was a little worried at the beginning and it was really painful, but our training staff is awesome, they worked on it. They said it was stable and the MRI showed that there was nothing seriously wrong. So it’s just about playing through the pain right now knowing it’s good, it’s stable. I said that I missed enough games last year, I can play through a little bit of pain.”

McConnell is in the second season of a four-year, $33.6MM contract.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Daniel Theis is showing progress from his latest knee surgery in November and he could make his Pacers debut in the coming weeks, Dopirak notes in the same story. Theis was acquired from the Celtics in July as part of the package Boston gave up for point guard Malcolm Brogdon. “I don’t know that there’s any real set, hard timetable on Theis’ availability to play in a game but he’s weeks, not months away,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s good news.”
  • As if the Pistons didn’t have enough injury issues, leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic missed Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia due to left calf soreness, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News tweets. Rookie center Jalen Duren missed his second straight game due to right ankle soreness and Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) was a late scratch.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Owczarski breaks downs the Bucks’ cap situation, key dates and luxury tax implications of any moves they might make before the trade deadline. He notes that Jordan Nwora and Bobby Portis will be eligible to be traded as of Jan. 15, while Pat Connaughton becomes eligible to be moved on Jan. 18.

And-Ones: Award Frontrunners, Possible Tankers, Trade Market

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is the choice for Most Valuable Player one-third of the way through the 2022/23 NBA season, Nekias Duncan of argues in an early-season award ballot. Tatum is averaging over 30 points, eight rebounds, and four assists per game with terrific shooting numbers and is a candidate for an All-Defensive spot on the other end of the floor, according to Duncan, who contends that doing all that for the NBA’s best team makes the MVP award Tatum’s to lose.

Duncan also checks in on the NBA’s other award races, selecting Bucks center Brook Lopez as the top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, Magic forward Paolo Banchero as the early Rookie of the Year frontrunner, and Bucks forward/center Bobby Portis as his Sixth Man of the Year choice, among others.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Which teams should be throwing in the towel on 2022/23 and focusing on next year’s draft? John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks down the potential tankers, ranging from the “pull the plug already” group (the Pistons and Hornets) to the “one injury away” tier, which includes playoff hopefuls like the Heat, Mavericks, and Raptors.
  • A panel of basketball writers – including Howard Beck, Chris Mannix, and Chris Herring – prepared for NBA trade season by identifying a player they expect to be moved, picking an intriguing team to watch, and naming a trade they’d like to see happen this season. Three of the five panelists pointed to a Bradley Beal deal as one they’re hoping for, even if it’s probably unlikely in the first season of his five-year contract with the Wizards.
  • Michael Pina of The Ringer poses and explores nine questions related to the trade market, including whether the league-wide parity we’ve seen so far this season will catalyze or stifle negotiations. Like those writers, Pina would welcome some action on the Beal front, referring to the union between the All-Star guard and the Wizards as “the most frustrating dead-end relationship in the entire NBA.”

Central Notes: Ball, Portis, Walton, Pacers

Echoing Billy Donovan‘s update on Sunday, Bulls president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said that Lonzo Ball is “progressing” from his left knee injury. However, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, Karnisovas’ comments on Ball were somewhat sobering.

“He’s getting better. Probably not at the speed that we would like. But he’s getting better,” Karnisovas said of Ball. “Hopefully, he’s going to be ready for training camp. That’s just our hopes.”

Ball, who underwent surgery on a torn left meniscus in January, was bothered by a bone bruise when he attempted to ramp up his rehab process last season. According to Johnson, Ball has experienced “similar starts and stops” this offseason and still sometimes experiences discomfort when he increases his workload.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After years of betting on himself with shorter-term contracts and team-friendly salaries, Bucks big man Bobby Portis was thrilled to be rewarded in free agency this summer with a four-year, $48MM+ deal, as he tells Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “Finally being able to have financial security for not only myself, but my family, is great,” Portis said. “To be able to go into free agency and have a number of teams call and believe that I’m special and want me to join their team, that was cool too.” Portis added that he decided to re-sign with the Bucks in part because his two years in Milwaukee have made him not only a better player but a “better man off the court.”
  • New Cavaliers assistant Luke Walton spoke to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic about his decision to join J.B. Bickerstaff‘s staff in Cleveland, noting that he appreciates the level of continuity he sees in the franchise. “There’s a lot of people that are still working here that were here when I played here 10 years ago – which is rare in the NBA,” Walton said. “To me, it’s something that’s very important when you’re trying to build a winning team and a winning culture.”
  • We’re still waiting to see how Deandre Ayton‘s free agency will play out, but the Pacers make a lot of sense as a potential destination for the former top pick, according to Dan Devine of The Ringer. Adding Ayton would give Tyrese Haliburton an ideal pick-and-roll partner and would put Indiana on track to quickly pivot back to respectability, Devine writes.

Eastern Notes: Banchero, Portis, Wizards, Knicks

With the Las Vegas Summer League underway, top pick Paolo Banchero isn’t shying away from the spotlight, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. The Magic forward is eager to show the fans why Orlando considered him the draft’s top prospect.

“I love when big crowds are out, when all the cameras are out, that’s when I play my best,” he said. “So, I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be fun.”

Orlando begins Summer League play tonight.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bobby Portis has inked his four-year, $48.58MM contract with the Bucks but he’s not in a celebratory mood, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Portis says it just motivates him to keep working. “I’m glad that the Bucks chose to bring me back and we met at terms and this and that, but I’ll always feel like I’ve got something to prove,” he said. “Obviously I’m happy that I got a chance to build generational wealth for my family, but still a lot of work left to do and there’s not time or need to celebrate. I work hard, I work on my game.”
  • The Wizards still have some holes to fill at point guard and center, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. However, guards Kris Dunn and Pierria Henry and big man Jaime Echenique, who are Summer League team members, could force their way into the mix. There’s a good chance the roster they currently have is essentially the one they will go with when the season opens, Hughes adds.
  • There are a number of under-the-radar players on the Knicks’ Summer League roster who could catch someone’s attention, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes. Braziller provides details on seven of those players, including guard Jean Montero and forward Feron Hunt.

Contract Details: Monk, Bucks, Edwards, Dort, Jones

Malik Monk‘s two-year deal with the Kings is worth approximately $19.42MM in total, with a first-year salary of $9.47MM, Hoops Rumors has learned. While Sacramento used most of the mid-level exception to bring Monk aboard, the team still has $1,017,781 left on the MLE, which is the exact value of the rookie minimum salary.

The Kings didn’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, so that leftover mid-level money won’t go to a 2022 draftee. But the club may have it earmarked for a player like Sasha Vezenkov, a 2017 second-rounder whose draft rights were acquired from Cleveland last month. Using that leftover mid-level money, Sacramento could offer Vezenkov – or another player – a minimum-salary deal that exceeds two years.

Here are a few more details on recently-signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • As expected, Joe Ingles got the full taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.48MM) from the Bucks, while Bobby Portis‘s four-year deal is worth the most he could receive using his Early Bird rights ($48.58MM), Hoops Rumors has learned. Portis’ contract includes a 15% trade kicker and a fourth-year player option.
  • Wesley Matthews‘ new deal with the Bucks is a one-year, minimum-salary contract, while the team used Jevon Carter‘s Non-Bird rights to give him a first-year salary ($2.1MM) worth a little more than his minimum ($1.97MM). Carter’s second-year player option is for the veteran’s minimum.
  • Kessler Edwards‘ two-year deal with the Nets, which features a second-year team option, is – as expected – worth the minimum.
  • Luguentz Dort‘s five-year contract with the Thunder includes a team option in year five and has a total base value of $82.5MM. It can be worth up to $87.5MM if Dort earns $5MM in total unlikely bonuses ($1MM annually), tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
  • Tyus Jones‘ two-year deal with the Grizzlies begins at $15MM and declines to $14MM in 2023/24, per Marks (Twitter link). The deal includes an additional $1MM in unlikely incentives related to the team’s performance, Marks adds.

Bucks Re-Sign Bobby Portis To Four-Year Contract

JULY 6: The Bucks have officially re-signed Portis, the team announced today in a press release.

JUNE 30: The Bucks have reached an agreement to re-sign free agent big man Bobby Portis to a four-year, $49MM contract, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

That’s the maximum amount that the Bucks could have given Portis using his Early Bird rights after he turned down his $4.6MM player option earlier this week.

The 6’10” Portis had a strong second season with Milwaukee, averaging career-highs in points (14.6) and rebounds (9.1) while appearing in 72 games (28.2 minutes per contest). He also started a career-high 59 games as center Brook Lopez dealt with a back injury which required surgery.

Portis, 27, is well-known for bringing lots of energy and intensity to the court, but he’s also a skilled offensive player, posting a .479/.393/.752 shooting line. He primarily served as a shooter for the Bucks to create space and driving lanes for two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has said he loves playing with Portis.

While Portis is a limited defender, he’s a good rebounder and gives solid effort, he just makes poor decisions and has trouble staying in front of smaller players. He also isn’t much of a rim protector, but Antetokounmpo is a very good backline anchor, which covers up for Portis’ weaknesses somewhat.

Portis was a key reserve when the Bucks won the title in 2020/21 and is a fan favorite in Milwaukee. Given he’s the same age as Antetokounmpo and Lopez is 34 and will be on an expiring deal, clearly the Bucks viewed Portis as a priority to retain, and since they’re over the cap, it’s not like they could easily find someone to replace his production.

Heat Rumors: Tucker, Portis, Lowry, Crowder

Heat players are reportedly lobbying free agent forward P.J. Tucker to remain with the team, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, who says All-Star wing Jimmy Butler, in particular, is “very much hoping” Tucker returns to Miami.

However, James Harden‘s decision to opt out of a $47MM+ salary for next season and likely sign a new deal starting at a lower number is the latest indication that the Sixers are a serious threat to lure Tucker to Philadelphia. Harden’s move clears a path for Philadelphia to offer its full mid-level exception to Tucker.

If Tucker does leave, the Heat will be in the market for a power forward, and T.J. Warren, Kyle Anderson, Thaddeus Young, and Nicolas Batum will be among the free agents on their radar, Jackson writes. A Wednesday report indicated the club would likely also have interest in Danilo Gallinari if he’s waived after being traded by San Antonio.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Jackson hears from a source that Miami would be a team that appeals to Bobby Portis if he decides to leave Milwaukee. But Portis is considered likely to stick with the Bucks, while the Heat are reluctant to hard-cap themselves for the season by giving their full mid-level exception to a free agent, so it’s an unlikely match.
  • Jackson also hears that Kyle Lowry wasn’t upset by Pat Riley‘s end-of-season comments about how his conditioning must improve. The Heat have assured Lowry they have no intention of trading him in a deal for Kyrie Irving, Jackson adds.
  • After saying that the Heat had emerged as the frontrunners to trade for Suns forward Jae Crowder, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter links) walked back that report. As Gambadoro explains, he can’t see Phoenix taking on Duncan Robinson‘s contract, and the Heat don’t have any other obvious salary-matching pieces they’d include in an offer for Crowder.

Bobby Portis To Decline Option With Bucks

Bobby Portis has told the Bucks he will decline his $4.6MM option for next season, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 27-year-old forward will be an unrestricted free agent, but there’s a good chance he’ll stay in Milwaukee on a more lucrative deal, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says Portis “seems destined” to sign a new contract worth more than $40MM over four years to remain with the Bucks.

The Bucks have Early Bird rights on Portis and can pay him up to $49MM over four seasons, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Marks adds that a new Early Bird contract must cover at least two seasons with no options in the second year.

Portis played an important role in Milwaukee’s title-winning team in 2020/21 and was just as valuable this past season. He moved into the starting lineup — starting 59 of the 72 games he played — and averaged a career-best 14.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per night.

Portis was the No. 13 player on our list of 2022’s top 50 free agents.