Bobby Portis to the Bulls – What They’re Saying


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Accompanied by his mother and three younger brothers in the Green Room of the Barclays Center at the 2015 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y., former Arkansas All-American and reigning SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis’ dream came true in a matter of seconds when NBA commissioner Adam Silver read his name.

“With the 22nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select Bobby Portis from the University of Arkansas.”

Portis is the 12th player in Arkansas history to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft and the first since 2006.

The Little Rock native became the first player in program history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds by the end of his sophomore season, breaking Arkansas’ eight-year run without an All-American in a big way in 2014-15, earning AP All-America second team, USBWA All-America second team and Sporting News All-America third team honors. He was a finalist for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (5 Players), Oscar Robertson Trophy (14 Players) and the Lute Olson Award (21 Players), while also making the Wooden Award Final 15 and Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30.

One of just three high-major players to average at least 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in 2014-15, Portis ranked in the top 5 of the SEC in scoring (17.5/2nd), rebounding (8.9/4th), offensive rebounds (3.7/1st), defensive rebounds (5.2/5th) and field goal percentage (.536/2nd). Portis was a walking double-double for much of the second half of the season, producing an SEC-best nine double-doubles in league play, highlighted by the first five-game streak in program history. Taking on a league full of future NBA first round draft picks and some of the best big men in the country, Portis posted a double-double or 20-point game against 12 of the 13 SEC members in the regular season.

Here’s what they’re saying about Bobby Portis’ selection by the bulls in the world of sports:

From the Chicago Tribune:

“I think I’ll fit in well there,” the 6-foot-11 SEC player of the year said. “They have Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson. I’m going to back those guys up or try to start and learn from them a little bit.”

But here’s more: In pre-draft interviews, Portis said he likes to play angry, even imagining his opponent slapped his mom. Oh, and he models his intensity after that of Kevin Garnett.

That certainly sounds like someone ready to embrace the serious-minded, workmanlike approach the Bulls like to project.

“My strengths will show,” Portis said. “I pride myself on hard work. I don’t have to have the basketball to score. I move well without the ball, can pick-and-pop, pick-and-roll. I think I bring a lot.”

The Bulls’ frontcourt, while talented, isn’t exactly young.

“He’s a guy we think really fits the makeup of our team,” general manager Gar Forman said. “We’ve had people just rave about his work ethic, how hard he plays, his makeup and character. And we really like his game. He’s a big who can play inside and outside.

“We’re always going to draft who we think is the best player available. And we had him ranked as a late lottery player.”

“He moves very well for a kid that size, which is very important with the pace we’re going to want to play with,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s good in the pick-and-roll.

“He’s a very versatile kid who you can use in different ways. And he’s learning from some great veteran players. And I know he’s going to be a sponge and he’ll absorb everything he can from those guys. Being in the draft room tonight, it’s not very often when you get to your pick, especially in the 20s, and it’s unanimous. And that happened.”

Portis will be signed to a three-year deal starting at $1.39 million, assuming the Bulls use the traditional 120 percent allowance for the first season of a rookie-scale contract.

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Because Bobby Portis was ranked somewhat higher than the Bulls pick at No. 22, the Bulls didn’t have him in for a workout. But they felt he was too good to pass up given his size and potential.

“I haven’t had any workouts with the Bulls so this was new to me,” said Portis by phone after the draft Thursday. “I worked out for teams above them. But I’m still kind of grateful to them (for) giving me the opportunity to be a Bull.

“I was just trying to get drafted today,” Portis said. “Thankful for getting drafted and having this opportunity to be in the NBA. I’m a guy going hard as he can, going hard at every position because that is the only thing that got me here is my hard work. I can’t stop working.”

Asked about playing for coach Fred Hoiberg, Portis recalled his team losing to Hoiberg’s Iowa State team this season, though Portis had a good game.

“It was a brutal game for us,” Portis recalled. “(We) didn’t come out ready to play; our team came out kind of lackluster. So our team had to step it up in the second half and we came back a little bit but they still took off. I like Fred Hoiberg because he lets you play. If you can do something he is going to let you do it. If you can dribble, he’s going to let you dribble as a big. He’s going to let you show your versatility and everything. So that’s one thing I really like about him.

“They are a lot of blue collar players on the (Bulls) team that do a lot of different things,” Portis noticed. “(Guys) trying to go as hard as they can and (doing) some of the dirty work for their players. That’s also me going hard and being a blue collar player. I think my strengths will show. I’m a player who prides himself on hard work. I can do a lot of different things with the basketball and I don’t have (to have) the basketball to score. I’m a guy who moves well without the basketball, picks and pops and picks and rolls. I’m able to do a lot of different things and think I bring a lot to the table for the Chicago Bulls.”

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From the Chicago Sun-Times

Call Bobby Portis 6-feet-10, 250-pounds of insurance.

With the No. 22 pick in the first round of Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Bulls obviously made the decision that their frontcourt as it is currently constructed either has some expendable bodies or is more fragile than they’re letting on, as they added the versatile power forward from Arkansas.

Maybe it’s both.

Joakim Noah spent last season laboring with a surgically-repaired left knee that sources have indicated is “bone-on-bone,’’ and also enters the last year of his contract. Taj Gibson had surgery on his left ankle last week, and is sidelined from all basketball activity for possibly four months. And then there’s Pau Gasol, who will eventually start losing that one-on-one pick-up game with Father Time, sitting at age 34.

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Razorbacks Selected In The First Round Of The NBA Draft

Year Player Team Pick
2015 Bobby Portis Chicago Bulls #22
2006 Ronnie Brewer Utah Jazz #14
2001 Joe Johnson Boston Celtics #10
1995 Corliss Williamson Sacramento Kings #13
1992 Todd Day Milwaukee Bucks #8
1992 Lee Mayberry Milwaukee Bucks #23
1992 Oliver Miller Phoenix Suns #22
1985 Joe Kleine Sacramento Kings #6
1984 Alvin Robertson San Antonio Spurs #7
1983 Darrell Walker New York Knicks #12
1979 Sidney Moncrief Milwaukee Bucks #5
1978 Ron Brewer Portland Trail Blazers #7


Bobby Portis In-Season & Postseason Awards

Sophomore (2014-15)
Wooden Award Final 15
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist (5 Players)
Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalist (14 Players)
Lute Olson Award Finalist (21 Players)
Associated Press SEC Player of the Year
SEC Player of the Year (Coaches)
USBWA All-District VII Player of the Year SEC Player of the Year
Associated Press All-America Second Team
USBWA All-America Second Team
Sporting News All-America Third Team
Associated Press All-SEC First Team (Unanimous)
All-SEC First Team (Coaches)
USBWA All-District VII Team
NABC All-District 21 First Team All-SEC First Team
Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30
CBS Sports National Player of the Week (Jan. 12)
SEC Player of the Week (Jan. 12 & Feb. 16) Player of the Week (Feb. 9)
Naismith Trophy Player of the Week (Feb. 10)

Freshman (2013-14)
All-SEC Second Team
SEC All-Freshman Team
USWBA All-District VII Team
Finalist for the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year Award
Three-time SEC Freshman of the Week

Bobby Portis to the Bulls


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