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#pounditTuesday, December 6, 2022

Crucial Bucks player already looking likely to return next season?

Mike Budenholzer looking on

Mar 9, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are licking their wounds after their title defense came up short in the second round this season. But they may already be off to a good start when it comes to mounting another push for next season.

Veteran NBA writer Marc Stein reports this week that interested opponents do not think that they have any chance of luring forward Bobby Portis away from the Bucks. Stein adds that the expectation is Portis will return to Milwaukee on a multi-year deal.

The 27-year-old Portis, who has a $4.5 million player option for next season, is an important jack-of-all-trades for the Bucks. He started for them when Brook Lopez was hurt and was also dynamic when needed off the bench, averaging a career-high 14.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this year.

It seems likely that Portis, a career 38.3 percent three-point shooter as well, will opt out since he just had a season worth well more than $4.5 million. But Portis appears to be a shoo-in to return to Milwaukee regardless, allowing the Bucks to focus on more pressing matters this offseason.

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