Measurables: 6'11, 231lbs, 20 years old.
*I am in no means a college player expert. I watch MSU and I try to follow as many top 20 prospects as possible, but I don't put nearly the time into them as I do to our beloved Pistons.
Let me start by saying I know most draft boards have him much lower (14-20 range). I also know there are people picked in that range almost every year that turn out to be top 5-10 in their draft.(Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Eric Bledsoe, every point taken outside the top 6 in 2009). I would NOT take Bobby Portis with a top three pick if we get some lottery luck (edit, we didn't), I would however THINK ABOUT taking him with the 8th,
9th or 10th. He loses ground for the simple fact that he isn't a freshman.
I am one to believe since Greg signed the QO that he wants to leave, not that it was a lock he would but that it was a very real possibility. So I focused a large portion of my college watching to power forwards, if they could play a little center too that was a big plus. In comes Portis. I started following Bobby Portis pretty early on (his 5th game to be exact). There was something about him I found intriguing. His first four games gave a glimpse of exactly the kind of player I would want to replace Greg with so I wanted to know more. (Editors note: I don't want to replace Greg if given the option of keeping him, I say replace as in Greg made a choice to leave now I NEED to replace him)
First four games: 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.25 blocks, 58.7%fg, 83.3%from 3.
So I couldn't wait to watch him play, well his 5th game went like this. 37.5 fg%, 0-0 from the stripe, 0-0from 3, 6 rebounds, 6 points. I was disappointed for sure. (not to mention it wasn't easy to find a place to watch North Texas vs Arkansas) I liked the way he moved and it looks like he has a good frame that could add some strength without the need to bulk up too much. So I figured I'd keep an eye on him.
Once you watch him a few times you'll see some things that remind you of Greg. He's not a great athlete but he can move his feet well. He gets good position for rebounds and can pass out of a double team. Things that won't remind you so much of Monroe, he can get some blocked shots and knock down the 3. He didn't shoot it enough to really call him a "stretch 4" but the base is there to add to while making them at 46.7%!!!.
Portis has declared for the 2015 NBA Draft. Portis has been one of the steadiest players on our Big Board. While he doesn't do any one thing at an elite level, he's one of the most well-rounded big men in the draft. He can score in the post, step out and hit the three, rebound and protect the rim. If he were a little taller, a little more explosive or a little more dominant at any of those skills, he'd be a top 5 pick. But as it stands, he's more likely in the 13 to 20 range.
Here is ESPN's take on Monroe during his second season at Georgetown
Monroe has always split the opinion of scouts and GMs. Some have loved his high basketball IQ, low post skills and unselfishness. Others have wrung their hands over his pedestrian athleticism and a perceived indifference on the court.
While Monroe's numbers have improved a bit as a sophomore, more and more scouts and GMs are focusing on his weaknesses and questioning whether he's a lottery pick. Monroe began the season ranked as the No. 5 pick on our Big Board, he's since slid to No. 15 and could be in for a worse fall in the coming months.
We know Greg went a bit higher than 15, and we know now he should have went top 5 for sure. Could we being saying the same thing about Portis? I think he falls in the trap that many players fall into "this is what he can't do" Look at what he did. His production is sound, he has the skills we need. Everybody hopes for an all star in the draft, well guess what, outside the top 5 there's little difference from #8- #14 in the lottery.
Portis isn't the only guy I like, and I am in no way saying he should be the only person considered for the pick. If looney is still on the board, which now looks like a real possibility, I would probably look at him too, but Portis is going to be better than the 15th best player from this draft.
I never understood how some players that put up great production efficiently get overlooked because of some misguided thought that only super athletic people are good NBA players (I think Greg Monroe has done well for us so far). I'll take skills over gifts any day of the week, and Portis has skill in a similar mold to what we are losing but with better emphasis on what we are looking for.
Thanks for reading.