4 Bucks on Thin Ice Heading Into 2024 NBA Draft

These four Milwaukee Bucks should be nervous heading into the 2024 NBA Draft, as their position on the team is on thin ice.
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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2. Bobby Portis

This one stings. Bobby Portis has captured the hearts of Bucks fans everywhere with his gritty play on the boards, his willingness to throw his body around for loose balls, and his signature mean mugs and flexes. There's a reason the Fiserv Forum crowd loves to chant his name.

He’s also been the key scorer off the Bucks' bench and a finalist for the Sixth Man of the Year award in recent years. There's no doubting his ability to get buckets.

However, Milwaukee might be looking to pivot. Despite Portis's scoring prowess, his game doesn't mesh well with the Bucks' big three. He favors post-ups, often slowing down Milwaukee's offense as he searches for his shot.

On the defensive end, he struggles mightily. He can't execute the same drop pick-and-roll coverage Brook Lopez does due to his lack of shot-blocking skills—averaging only 0.4 blocks per game during his four seasons in Milwaukee. The Bucks have largely used a hedge-and-recover defensive scheme with Portis, but opposing teams hunt him relentlessly.

Portis’s individual offensive talents are undeniable, but the Bucks need cohesion and complementary pieces around Antetokounmpo, Lillard, and Middleton. His preference for slowing the game to create his shot often disrupts the team's overall offensive flow.

Portis has had a good run, but this may be the end of the road. The Bucks reportedly tried to trade him at the deadline for Grant Williams but wanted the Mavericks to include a draft pick as well. They could revisit potential deals for Portis involving Williams or others. The tough reality is that Portis’s time in Milwaukee might be nearing its final buzzer. It's a harsh call, but one that could be necessary for the Bucks to reach their championship aspirations.