The Milwaukee Bucks are facing a franchise-defining offseason. After ending the regular season with the NBA’s best record, they were decidedly beaten in five games by the Miami Heat. Head coach Mike Budenholzer was fired and the franchise is still in the midst of searching for his replacement. In addition to a new head coach, the Bucks’ roster will almost definitely look different next year with so many players hitting free agency. This includes Defensive Player of the Year finalist Brook Lopez. Additionally, three-time All-Star Khris Middleton has to decide whether or not to pick up his player option for the 2023-24 season.
One would assume that, with so many players likely leaving, the team would be be motivated to keep as many of its core pieces around as possible. Some writers who cover the Bucks, though, do not seem to share that belief. In fact, one writer suggests that Milwaukee trade Bobby Portis, whom they signed to a four-year contract last offseason.
Should the Milwaukee Bucks Trade Bobby Portis?
In an article posted on SB Nation, Jackson Gross writes:
“Portis is just entering the second year of a four-year deal he signed before the start of this season that pays him around $11.7 million dollars for this upcoming season. Despite how well Portis has played over his time in Milwaukee, he may be a valuable trade asset to improve this roster.
“The Bucks need another ball handler to take pressure off of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. Right now this team doesn’t have that and we saw how bad things can get if they don’t.”
Gross then presents two different trade scenarios that would send Portis out of Milwaukee:
- Trade Portis to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign and trade for DeAngelo Russell; the Bucks would also get a first round pick in 2029 (top 10 protected)
- Trade Portis to the Los Angeles Clippers for Norman Powell; the Bucks would include Jae Crowder as part of a sign and trade.
Do any of these trade scenarios make sense for Milwaukee? To be honest, it really all depends on Brook Lopez. If Lopez leaves via free agency, it will create a huge hole on the roster. Portis is the only other player under contract, aside from Giannis, who can play the center position.
Even if Lopez does not leave, the Bucks’ bench was far from consistent all season long. That is, of course, except for Portis who nearly averaged a double-double.
In short, the Bucks are facing an offseason in which they will potentially have multiple holes to fill. While trading Portis may help fill one need, it will create another, one that may not be so easily met. Regardless of who returns and who does not, Portis should be in a Bucks uniform next year.