Draft Profile: Bobby Portis

As the NBA Draft's June 25 date quickly approaches, one of the potential draftees the Hawks could be eyeing is Bobby Portis, a power forward from the University of Arkansas. In 2014-15, his sophomore season, the 20-year-old averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds on 53.6% shooting from the field. 

In their most recent mock drafts, Draft Express projected Portis going to Boston with the #16 pick, NBA.com had Chicago nabbing him at #22, and SB Nation slotted him to go to Phoenix with the #13 pick.

At the NBA Draft Combine, Portis stood 6'10.5" in shoes, weighed 246 pounds, and had his wingspan measured at 7'2".

To find out more about Portis, Hawks.com asked a few questions of Graham Reaves, an editor at Arkansas Fight, SB Nation's University of Arkansas site.

Q: What does Bobby Portis do well?

Reaves: Portis was the heart of Arkansas and fulfilled any Razorback fan's expectations that he had coming in as a McDonald's All-American. He leaves Arkansas as arguably the best player of the last decade, and the only player to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds by the end of his sophomore season. Playing in the same league as the NBA's 31st team, Kentucky, he was named the SEC Player of the Year. 

Portis was also one of three high-major players to average 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, scoring double digits in his last 26 regular season games. He has an outstanding ability to score and rebound at the collegiate level and understands spacing on the floor in halfcourt sets and in transition.

Q: How does his game translate to the NBA?

Reaves: Portis' ability to space the floor with a 15-20 foot jump shot reminds me of Al Horford because Portis, like Horford, knows where to be for a driving player's kickout -- and he knows how to run in transition. His ability to nail a mid-range jump shot should excite Atlanta fans too because of the Hawks' propensity to run pick-and-pop. He also knows how to use his body to grab rebounds, especially on the offensive side. 

Fellow Hawks fans might find this interesting: The last first-round selection under Arkansas coach Mike Anderson was DeMarre Carroll, back when Anderson was at Missouri.

Q: What can he do to improve?

Reaves: As with most big men, Portis can improve his ball-handling skills. He doesn't always look comfortable dribbling and passing, though he has shown glimpses of good decision-making. Portis can also improve with his back to the basket on both ends of the floor. His post moves were serviceable at the collegiate level, but when playing against future NBA-ers Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, he struggled to put points on the board and establish himself as a defensive rebounding presence. 

Q: What style of play suits his game best?

Reaves: Arkansas's program prides itself being relentless on defense and getting plenty of points in transition, so he should slide into that same role in the NBA. His skill set fits in the Hawks' scheme very well. I live in Atlanta, am a Hawks fan and would be happy to see what Portis could bring here. He is comfortable with the pick-and-roll, as he was the primary offensive weapon at Arkansas. Developing from game to game, he demonstrates a high basketball IQ in understanding his role and matchups. He's not a huge post threat at this point, but with his frame that aspect of his game could develop. 

Q: To which current or past NBA player would you compare him?

Reaves: Greg Monroe seems to be the consensus. Portis is the kind of player the Hawks' management likes. He works hard, as evidenced by his growth from his freshman to sophomore seasons. 

Don't expect him to be a perennial NBA All-Star but understand that he will be in league for a long time as a high-impact role player. No one seems to be able to pinpoint his ceiling long term, but whichever team selects him will get a tremendous rebounder, a sound offensive game with a willingness and aptitude to learn how to get better.