The University of Arkansas hasn’t produced a first-round pick since Ronnie Brewer nine years ago.
That should change with Bobby Portis this season.
Portis just produces. He averaged 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals last season, following a freshman year where he showed a similar versatile skill set at a lower volume. He made 14-of-30 3-pointers last season, an excellent and inspiring percentage, but hardly enough attempts to feel comfortable with his outside shooting. He made just 9-of-33 3s as a freshman.
He’s neither great athletically nor particularly young, two factors which limit his upside – and therefor his draft stock. Though upside matters, teams often overvalue it at the expense of current ability.
Portis belongs in the middle of the first round. Exactly how high depends on whether teams picking in that area prefer higher-risk, higher-reward players or the safer Portis.