The Portland Trail Blazers should not replace Kanter with Bobby Portis
Speaking of archetypes the Blazers don’t need, Portland should avoid signing another offensive-minded big. If they plan on moving on from Kanter just to sign a different scoring center, then they may as well keep Kanter around for his continuity and rebounding.
One of the players hitting free agency that fits this mold is Bobby Portis. Portis actually had himself a career revival season with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020-2021.
He signed a 2-year/$7.4 million contract with the Bucks back in 2020 and has a player option this summer. He’s actually outplayed the $3 million he’s set to make next year and is more likely than not to opt out.
This season, Portis put up a nice stat line at 19.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per 36-minutes while shooting 52 percent from the floor, 47 from behind the arc, and 74 from the line. He’s another player that might command more in free agency than the Blazers could afford with their mid-level exception.
Not only has Portis expanded his range and proved to be an asset off the bench, he also showed the most defensive chops of his career this year.
Before joining the Bucks, Portis averaged 10.2 points and 5.9 rebounds while playing 20 minutes a night, slashing 46/36/75, according to statmuse. He was also a notorious black hole and one of the worst defenders at his position.
If we’re to believe that 2020-2021 was a turning point for him and this last season is more indicative of who he will be as a player for the rest of his career than his first six campaigns, then Bobby would be a welcome addition to the Blazers bench.
With Dame at the peak of his prime though, it’s simply too risky to bet on Portis with the Blazers MLE. Unless he somehow signs for the minimum, Portland should steer clear of Bobby.