Bobby Portis is, to some degree, unreasonably liked on this page. His bandwagon was growing by the day a few weeks ago, thanks to several advocates, most notably CTBAAF. The hype has since died down, as the arrival of Ersan Ilyasova has put a dampener on the Pistons perhaps emerging from the draft with the Arkansas product, but to humour the masses, let's analyse him anyway.
From a size standpoint, Portis is well covered here for a power forward in the NBA. He measured in at a respectable 6'9.5" barefoot, with a 6'10.5" height in shoes. More importantly, he possesses a nice 7'2" wingspan, thus allowing for some defensive potential. He also has a good standing reach at 9'0.5", meaning that he could possibly be a decent defender both interior-wise and on the perimeter. However, Portis isn't the most explosive athlete. His maximum vertical leap as measured at the combine was a paltry 31.5 inches, one of the lowest marks measured at this year's combine. However, he compensates with a stocky 246 pound frame, meaning he shouldn't be bullied too much by defensive matchups. Physically, he matches up rather well with Greg Monroe.
Style of Play
Portis was the dominant presence in the Razorbacks' offense this past season, as evidenced by his 26.7% usage rate. He and guard Michael Qualls formed most of Arkansas' offense in the last season. Portis led the team with 17.5 points per game, but what has a lot of people excited is the versatility in his offensive game. Not only is he a big body who can work the post, but he has shown that he is someone with shooting range who should be respected beyond the three point line, shooting 46.7% (beware of small [14-30] sample size though). He was also a good free throw shooter, hitting his freebies at just under 74% for the season and 74% for his two-year career. He was also good at getting to the line frequently, attempting 4.3 free throws per game. However, due to his usage rate, he was also slightly turnover prone, and coughed the ball up 1.6 times a game over the past season.
On the less glamorous side of the court, Portis is a passable presence. Due to his large impact on Arkansas' offense, his role on defence wasn't as pronounced. As a result, he only totaled 1.9 defensive win shares on the season, compared to 4.2 offensive win shares. However, he was a very good rebounder, and for his college career averaged 7.9 rebounds per game and 11.1 per 40 minutes. He also swallows a lot of the boards while he's on the court, shown by his very good total rebound percentage for the season at 16.8%. He also grabbed 20.2% of available defensive rebounds during his sophomore season. Also, despite his limited athleticism and vertical leap, he still managed to reasonably protect the rim, blocking 1.4 shots a game last season.
Like Kaminsky, were Portis to find his way to Motown, he would be unlikely getting much playing time nowconsidering the recent deal for Ersan Ilyasova. However, if Detroit were to trade back in the draft or somehow acquire another pick in the mid to late teens, then no one would be disappointed to emerge from New York with a brand new power forward from the University of Arkansas.