Portis’ poor defense can be fixed with the Toronto Raptors
This is the part where Portis may seem more like a liability than an asset. Portis has always struggled on defense and his lack of athleticism doesn’t help. But there is another thing that never helped his case. Portis hasn’t played for a team with good defense since the 2016-2017 season where the Chicago Bulls ranked fifth in defensive rating.
In the last three years, Portis has been part of teams that have been in the bottom 10 in Defensive Rating. Being part of a system that places heavy prioritization on defense will at least make Portis a competent defender. He has the size and ability to at least defend low usage centers like the Jarrett Allen’s and the Javale McGee’s of the league.
He is also mobile enough to be part of the Raptors high switch defense. He has all the energy in the world and with enough games as a Raptor, he should be able to be a somewhat capable defender in Nurse’s system. There will always be some games where teams might focus him on offense, but more often than not, Portis should be fine enough on defense, at least in the regular season.