Bulls rookie Bobby Portis not afraid of hard work or going third person

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No one can say how much playing time Bobby Portis will earn next season with an experienced Bulls frontcourt. We can’t yet know the impact the No. 22 pick from last Thursday’s draft makes with his athleticism and blue-collar mentality.

In fact, the only thing known — thanks to Portis’ introductory news conference Monday — is that very few rookies speak in the third person as smoothly as the 20-year-old from Arkansas.

Asked about his preparations for the jump from college to the NBA, Portis said, ‘‘Basically, just being Bobby Portis and being the guy that I am — being that blue-collared guy, that glue guy that does all the hard things, whether it’s rebounding or doing some of the small things.

‘‘I’m a guy that raised himself on hard work. I’ve never been the guy that’s gone outside my boundaries and do the things I can’t do. I’ve done the things that Bobby Portis does well, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.’’

He might be called on for that earlier than expected. Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson appear to be a logjam of bigs. Gasol, however, is 34, Noah is dealing with a left knee that kept him on minutes restrictions most of last season, and Gibson is returning from surgery on his left ankle and facing limited minutes.

While new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged the line of frontcourt players in front of Portis, he stressed that very little is written in stone.

‘‘The way that I’ve always operated is going into training camp with an open mind,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘That’s how it worked when I was a player, and I’ve always had the same thing as a coach, is to go in, and guys will earn their minutes.’’

Hinrich sticking around

Veteran Kirk Hinrich picked up his $2.85 million player option and will be back for a 13th NBA season.

‘‘We think he’s a very valuable piece to our team, has been in the past, and I know that we feel that way and Fred feels that way moving forward,’’ Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. ‘‘So we were excited about that.’’

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

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