clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LB NBA Mock Draft: Portis Heads to Oklahoma City

The Thunder land a tremendous talent at No. 14.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn't a particularly tough choice for me here. Cameron Payne would've been an interesting replacement for Reggie Jackson had Shamus not snatched him up at 12, and Oubre might've been an interesting get as a two-way wing and transition weapon with some of the bench units. But at the tail end of the lottery, Sam Presti is more than fortunate to come away with a talent like Arkansas's own Bobby Portis.

The 6-foot-11, 246-pound behemoth went bananas in his sophomore season. Posting 21.5 points and 11 boards per 40 pace-adjusted, he won the hearts of Razorbacks fans everywhere and Jake Pavorsky.

From the outset, this selection could create a bit of a logjam in Oklahoma City's front court, but I think Portis actually slides in quite nicely. He'd see the bulk of his minutes behind Serge Ibaka at the four, spreading the floor when Enes Kanter, Steven Adams or even Mitch McGary are in the middle.

The automatic comp for Portis, as is the case for most thick fours who unconsciously rain 15-footers and play with enough GRIT and GRIND to make John Hollinger faint, is David West. I mean, at this point, David West and Kevin Garnett are pretty much interchangeable as overzealous comps for power forwards who can knock down mid-range jumpers at even semi-passable clips.

But seriously, somewhere in between the two, there's actually a pretty sound parallel stylistically. Not just for the faceup game, but for the unabashed physicality and delightfully blinding intensity Portis plays with.

If you're interested in taking the Spike Eskin-esque high road to scouting and just watch YouTube videos instead, the SEC Player of the Year is your man. He runs the floor like a guard, has the versatility to switch out and give guards fits and he hoops and hollers a whole lot. He was born for YouTube.

For talent-stacked teams, the draft is often utilized as a tool for squeezing in some of the finishing puzzle pieces of the team-building process. But Portis is undoubtedly the most talented two-way player left on the board. So, although he doesn't fit a glaring need (how many of those do the Thunder even have?), Presti is acquiring the best talent available here.

He's no Doug McDermott, but there's no reason he couldn't contribute on both ends right away.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns
Los Angeles Lakers - Jahlil Okafor
Philadelphia 76ers - D'Angelo Russell
New York Knicks - Emmanuel Mudiay
Orlando Magic - Mario Hezonja
Sacramento Kings - Justise Winslow
Denver Nuggets - Willie Cauley-Stein
Detroit Pistons - Stanley Johnson
Charlotte Hornets - Kristaps Porzingis
Miami Heat - Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers - Cameron Payne
Utah Jazz - Frank Kaminsky
Phoenix SunsKelly Oubre

Oklahoma City - Bobby Portis

Atlanta (via Brooklyn) - ?????

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liberty Ballers Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Philadelphia 76ers news from Liberty Ballers