Arkansas big man Bobby Portis is heading to the Chicago Bulls with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after a breakout sophomore year with the Razorbacks. Portis is the first player from Arkansas to be drafted in the first round since Ronnie Brewer in 2007.
It's not often the Razorbacks land a player like Portis, so it was a big deal when the Little Rock, Ark., native decided to stay in his home state for college. After an up-and-down freshman year that saw the team settle for a trip to the NIT, Portis took his game to another level in 2014-15 as the Razorbacks had their best season in years.
Portis averaged 18 points on 54 percent shooting and nine rebounds as a sophomore, and Arkansas finished second in the SEC behind Kentucky with a 26-8 record. The team lost in the SEC title game to the Wildcats, but Portis was named the SEC's Player of the Year over Kentucky's constellation of stars, and his Hogs still earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, then beat Wofford in their opening game. North Carolina knocked out the Razorbacks in the third round, but it was still an impressive year for Portis and the team.
Blog a Bull is surprised the team opted for a big man instead of a guard.
It's tough to assess 'fit' with picks this late in the first round, as typically these players aren't going to be great enough to push established rotation players out anyway. But that said, with the Bulls lack of flexibility this coming offseason it is a bit surprising that the Bulls didn't go with a guard here.
Portis is an intriguing fit for the Bulls, who have an established, but declining frontcourt in the form of Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson. Portis could replace Gibson cleanly if the veteran backup was shopped, but lacks the height to defend taller frontcourt players like Gasol and Noah can. But he doesn't seem to solve the Bulls' problem of finding a bench scorer to complement Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Gasol, and Portis certainly isn't a backup point guard to provide insurance for the oft-injured Rose.