The Bulls were in the position of having to watch the draft unfold without much drama, as the glut of mid-round talented guards began falling one by one off the board.
When the smoke cleared, though, they took Bobby Portis from Arkansas with the 22nd pick of the first round for the first pick of the Fred Hoiberg Era, a player who was waiting in the green room as one of the invitees from the NBA.
He’ll be expected to compete for minutes as a backup power forward/center behind Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, a player who won the SEC Player of the Year in a conference that had numerous draft picks selected ahead of him, a mark of his consistency.
“They have Gasol and Gibson,” he said in an interview right after being selected. “I’ll back those guys up and maybe even start. I’ll try to learn from those guys.”
[SHOP BULLS: Buy a Bobby Portis jersey]
With Terry Rozier and Rashad Vaughn taken midway through the first round, then Jerian Grant off the board, it left the Bulls perhaps in a position where they had to switch course and go to the frontcourt.
Portis was projected as a mid-first round pick by many experts, and averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as an aggressive big who adds some youth to an older frontline.
With Noah, Gasol and Gibson being an average of 31.6 years old by the start of next season, and the Bulls getting gashed on the boards by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their six-game second-round series loss, they added a low-post scorer and inside player who’ll get after it on the glass.