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Report: Heat signing P.J. Tucker from Bucks, who’ll keep Bobby Portis

Bucks forward P.J. Tucker and Bobby Portis

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 1: Bobby Portis #9 hi-fives P.J. Tucker #17 of the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on July 1, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).

NBAE via Getty Images

The Heat’s big night continues.

Miami is poaching P.J. Tucker from the defending-champion Bucks, who’ll at least keep Bobby Portis.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Heat had the mid-level exception available, because they’re acquiring Kyle Lowry via sign-and-trade rather than signing him outright.

Miami certainly has a type with tough veterans – Jimmy Butler (getting signed to a max extension), Lowry and now Tucker.

Though the 36-year-old Tucker could decline quickly, he just proved his ability to contribute through a deep playoff run. He’s a versatile frontcourt player who plays hardnosed defense and shoots corner 3s. This price is worth the risk.

It’s worth questioning why Milwaukee didn’t re-sign him. The Bucks have been wary of paying the luxury tax. Maybe that’s continuing, even after their title.

Portis is seemingly taking a discount to stay. The largest two-year contract Milwaukee can offer him through the Non-Bird Exception is $8,912,580. So, perhaps that got rounded up in reporting. Any more, and the Bucks must use their mid-level exception, though they’re not necessarily saving that to spend on someone else.

Milwaukee would have Portis’ Early Bird Rights next offseason and the ability to pay him around market value.