It’s safe to say that nobody is happier with his decision last offseason than Bucks forward Bobby Portis. After helping to bring Milwaukee its first NBA title in 50 years, Portis confirmed that the Knicks made him a better offer than the two-year, $7.5MM deal he signed with the Bucks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.
“I knew it was the right place when I made the decision,’’ Portis said. “Fun fact, like fun little quick story. During free agency — actually, before free agency — the Knicks turned down my ($15M) team option and they wanted to sign me to another deal and it was pretty nice money. But I wasn’t really worried about the money. Sometimes money isn’t everything. It’s about happiness. I found happiness here.”
Portis will have another decision in a few days because he has a $3.8MM player option on the second year of his contract. Berman speculated that New York may have interest in a reunion with Portis, especially if Obi Toppin gets moved in a potential Collin Sexton trade, but Portis sounds reluctant to leave Milwaukee.
“When I first got here, I felt welcome and I felt loved,’’ he said. “The guys made me at home and the coaches made me comfortable. I get to be myself every day, just be energetic. Guys on my team, they are kind of quiet guys. There’s not many guys like me that are outgoing and really bring what I bring to the table with energy.’’
There’s more from Milwaukee:
- The Bucks will keep their core together with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, but the $106MM those three players are owed next season will limit the team’s financial flexibility, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Instagram link). Milwaukee has Bird rights on P.J. Tucker and would like to bring him back, but that may push them over the luxury tax.
- In Tuesday’s post-game celebration, coach Mike Budenholzer gave credit to general manager Jon Horst for the bold moves he made to assemble a championship team, per Spencer Davies of Basketball News. “What Jon Horst has done to put together a team, he’s the greatest GM in the league,” Budenholzer said. “I’m a little bit biased, but to be his partner, for him to go out and get Jrue Holiday, to have the guts to make that (trade), to recruit guys, to get P.J. Tucker midseason, Bobby Portis in the offseason. Stick with Khris, Giannis and Brook (Lopez) and Pat (Connaughton) and these guys, and you go up and down the roster. Jon has done an amazing job.”
- The Bucks are early favorites to win another title next season, according to ESPN, which has the Nets, Suns, Lakers and Sixers rounding out the top five.