With the 22nd pick in the first round of last month’s NBA Draft the Chicago Bulls selected Power Forward Bobby Portis. Portis, stands 6’11” and 230 pounds, played his college ball at Arkansas after earning McDonald’s and Parade All-American status out of High School. He declared for the NBA after his sophomore season after being named SEC player of the year and consensus second team All-American.
The Bulls have had success with their late round picks in the first round in recent years. Back in 2009 they took Power Forward Taj Gibson with the 26th overall pick and he has become a solid contributor off the bench. But they struck gold in the 2011 Draft by taking Shooting Guard Jimmy Butler with the 30th overall pick. This past season Butler was awarded NBA Most Improved Player.
Portis will provide some much needed youth to an aging front court. Pau Gasol just turned 35 earlier this month and both Gibson and Joakim Noah are both 30 years old. Portis has great size and is known for his mid-range jump shot and is working on adding the three ball to his repertoire. Defensively, he is an active rebounder, especially on the offensive side.
New Bulls Head Coach Fred Hoiberg is familiar with Portis as they faced each other last season when the Razorbacks traveled up to Iowa State last December. Hoiberg and Iowa State ended up winning the game, but Portis finished 19 points and 8 rebounds.
In his first summer league game, Portis outplayed the number one overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns. Portis finished the game with 23 points (3-4 on three point attempts) and seven rebounds in just 27 minutes played. Look for Portis to bring that type of spark off the bench for the Bulls this season.