The Bucks continued their pre-draft workouts on Wednesday, this time being headlined by some big men that the Bucks may have interest in at #17.
Big men Bobby Portis of Arkansas of Arkansas and Montrezl Harrell of Lousiville were the focus of today's workout, just 24 hours after the Bucks got up close and personal with first round wing prospects R.J. Hunter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Justin Anderson. Portis and Harrell were joined Wednesday by fellow lottery hopeful Jerian Grant from Notre Dame, Louisville's Terry Rozier, St. Mary's Brad Waldow, and Ziga Dimec from Slovenia.
It's no secret that the Bucks would like to add some toughness and physicality to their roster to go along with their stable of cartoonishly long and versatile players. Both Portis and Harrell provide plenty of that physical type of play, and Bucks Director of Scouting Billy McKinney made note of that in his post-workout meeting with the media. From the Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Before Harrell was injured a spirited workout took place, according to Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney.
"It was like a round of Mortal Kombat out there," McKinney said. "Those guys really played hard. That's his (Harrell's) style of play. Portis is a very physical player although he played a lot on the perimeter this season for Arkansas."
Harrell sprained his ankle late in the workout and received treatment before heading to his next scheduled workout. He did not meet with reporters.
Though there was no shortage of first round talent on hand, most of the attention of today's workout was on Portis, who offers many of the skills that the Bucks may be looking for in a prospect and future piece on this roster. At 6'11", Portis is both an inside and outside threat with a high motor, someone who should fit well into Jason Kidd's scheme. Portis even told reporters that Kidd expressed something similar to him. Per Gardner:
"Coach (Jason) Kidd was talking to me (Tuesday) night at dinner, and he was telling me they need a stretch 4 to come out and make shots and score the basketball," Portis said. "That's some of the things I do well."
Part of the appeal with Portis is that he's strong and long enough (6'10.5" in shoes and 246 pounds) to also move over and play some center in potentially funky small ball lineups. Additionally, Portis' skills offensively would allow the Bucks to use him up at the elbows as somewhat of an initiator of the offense. So while he doesn't have the freakish athleticism to lock himself into a top-ten slot, there's potentially a lot to like about selecting a guy like Portis. Perhaps the biggest question mark about Portis heading into the draft will be whether he's available at the 17th slot, as the Hawks at 15 have become a popular landing point for him in recent mock drafts. We'll find out the answer to that in a week.
For a detailed scouting report on Portis, check out his Draft Express profile here.
The Bucks will hold another workout Thursday and a source told Gardner that Wisconsin's own Josh Gasser will be one of the participants. After that workout there is one more scheduled tentatively for Monday, and that will likely be the last one before Thursday's draft. It's almost here!