Bobby Portis
AP Photo

In his first experience with free agency, Bobby Portis chose to sign with the New York Knicks. Head coach David Fizdale is a big reason why.

The New York Knicks may have struck out on the crème de la crème of free agency, but they were active this summer nonetheless.

One of the team’s biggest signings of the offseason was 24-year-old big man, Bobby Portis. The former Chicago Bull and Washington Wizard is excited for the opportunity to play for the Knicks and more specifically, David Fizdale.

“Just the feel, they have a great coach in David Fizdale, they got a lot of young pieces out there I think I can come in and fit with,” Portis told David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. “I love that they signed Julius [Randle], that’s another guy that can bang and really play at a high level. I love everything David was talking about with me in the meeting that I had with him.”

Fizdale built his reputation as a key member of the Miami Heat coaching staff that won two titles with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

Although Fiz’s reputation wasn’t enough to lure the likes of Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, it’s notable that Portis cites Fizdale as a reason for his desire to play for the Knicks.

New York is looking to rebound after a franchise-worst 17-win season. The revamped roster will have far more talent than the Knicks had during the 2018-19 season. Portis’ offensive touch is his calling card.

“I bring energy, I love to score the basketball, I can score from all three levels. Driving the basketball, shooting the three, posting up, finding the mismatch, just being who I am,” Portis said. “I think I’ve done a good job since I’ve been in the league of being who I am, knowing my role on the team and playing it to a tee. I think I can hone in on any role that Coach Fizdale wants me to play.”

Last season, in 50 games with the Bulls and Wizards, Portis averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds. Additionally, he shot 39.3% from three-point range.

In all likelihood, Portis will be one of the first guys off the bench for Fizdale next season. His versatility on offense could be a major weapon for the head coach to utilize.

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