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Power Forward | 6’11 | 245 | Arkansas
Projected: Mid 1st round
Best Case: David West
Most Likely: Jason Thompson
Worst Case: Arnett Moultrie
The first borderline lottery pick we’ve looked at, Bobby Portis had an exceptionally productive season with the Arkansas Razorbacks. 18 points and 9 rebounds a game on an efficient 58% true shooting all added up to a 30 PER and a second straight SEC player of the year award. Despite entering the draft after his sophmore year, Portis already has the frame to compete with NBA power forwards. This gives him an advantage in a draft full of undersized power forward prospects.
Portis makes his mark as a prospect by providing above average production in many areas and having significant weaknesses in almost none. He isn’t particularly explosive but is still long enough to finish effectively and his mobility allows him to defend well in space. His mid-range jumper is solid and his (admittedly small) college three point sample and free throw shooting give hope he can extend his range out to the NBA three point line. Given his frame, skills and propensity for playing as hard as anyone in college ball, Portis looks like a solid bet in the middle of the first round. There is always the risk with the jack of all trades types that none will translate, but Portis doesn’t bring any physical or attitude deficiencies to the table, so he’ll get a decent amount of time to figure things out even in the event of a rough start.
The Blazers don’t seem a fit for Portis whether LA stays or walks. If the team is still trying to prove it’s credentials to keep LA in the fold, they should be using their pick elsewhere rather than adding a prospect in for the already filled backup power forward slot. If they feel like this draft is the start of a rebuild, there are higher upside prospects available which wouldn’t require a trade up. All in all, Bobby Portis will probably be enjoyed somewhere as a balls to the wall backup and fan favourite, it just won’t be in Portland.