Report: Bobby Portis declines option with Bucks, will become free agent

Milwaukee Bucks’ Fans Celebrate Nba Championship With Parade
Aaron Gash

Milwaukee Bucks' Bobby Portis holds up a belt during a parade celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks' NBA Championship basketball team Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE — One of the Milwaukee Bucks’ most popular players is reportedly declining his player option for next season and will become a free agent.

The decision by Bobby Portis, Jr. to opt out and enter free agency was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Wednesday afternoon, citing Portis’ agent.

Portis has become one of the most popular players on the Bucks’ roster, earning fans with his intensity on the court. After largely coming off the bench during the Bucks’ championship run in 2021, he played a larger role this past season, filling in for the injured Brook Lopez in the starting lineup for much of the year.

The result was a career-best year, with an average of 14.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, including 2.5 offensive rebounds per game. Portis’ decision to decline his player option that would have been worth $4.6 million next season was not entirely unexpected, as he likely could fetch a higher salary after the high-quality season.

It is also possible Portis could return back to the Bucks on a new contract, since they have “Bird Rights” — meaning they can go over the salary cap to keep him. As noted by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, he could sign a deal worth as much as $49 million over 4 years.

The NBA’s free agency period officially begins at 5 p.m. central time on Thursday, June 30.