Bol Bol Rumors

Teen center Bol Bol, the Sudanese-American son of the late NBA star Manute Bol, is confident and excited to begin his own NBA journey with the Denver Nuggets. The 7-foot-2 (2.18m) 19-year-old has an amazing 7-foot-8 (2.37m) extended fingertip reach, impressive outside shooting and dribbling moves to match his formidable shotblocking skills and is back to full strength after a left foot fracture cut short his US college career. “I still can’t believe it, that I’m in the NBA,” Bol told AFP. “I’m very excited. Time has flown by. I can’t wait to get going.”
He was touted as a top-five talent for the NBA Draft but went 44th over concerns about his foot. “Everything is perfect. Everything has fully healed,” Bol said. “I’ve been working out in the morning and coming back at night.” When it comes to the hectic game and travel schedule, Bol vows: “I’ll be ready for when the season starts. I’ll be ready for all of that.”
Storyline: Bol Bol Injury
Do you see the similarities in your game to Porzingis’ game? I know that is something a lot of people have said before. Bol Bol: That’s the main reason I watch so much of him. I try to take pieces from his game. I take a little bit from his game and a little bit from KD, too. I try to watch a lot of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis. But yeah, I’d say Porzingis and I have a pretty similar game.
The Nuggets sensed an opportunity to draft a prospect they had ranked significantly higher on their board. By the 44th pick, the Nuggets couldn’t resist his immense upside and made a trade with Miami to choose Bol Bol. “It’s surprising, but I think it actually ended up being the perfect situation,” said Bol Tuesday from the second day of Nuggets minicamp. “Just because everyone on the staff is very cautious. I like how they move slow and actually care about what’s going on.”
Had he remained healthy and stretched those statistics into a full college season, Bol would almost certainly be a top-10 pick next week. But he only played nine games. And now, where he will be selected is one of the draft’s biggest mysteries. “Be careful. Everybody is lying about Bol Bol,” one team executive says. “Every team thinks they have him figured out. The ones who like him a lot are spreading negative rumors about him, and the ones who don’t want to draft him are propping him up.”
By the end of his high school career, Bol’s reputation among NBA observers was that of a uniquely talented prospect who too often seemed to coast on his superior size and skills. More than anything, scouts worried about whether Bol was fully committed to the game—and if his slight frame could withstand the rigors of it. “His resting demeanor makes him look aloof, like he might rather be sitting on the couch,” says one NBA scout. “I don’t really think that’s his fault. He’s not that different from most guys his age. He’s not a vocal leader, but he’s also not a bad egg. More than most, it’ll depend on what kind of team drafts him. If they have a great culture, I think he’ll really excel.”
Also, there’s the fact Bol was only fully cleared to play on the last day of May, and his June 12 Pro Day will be the only opportunity for most teams to watch him play in live action in 2019. “He has top-five talent, no question,” one league source says. “But when you throw the injury in the mix, where he goes is anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went in the top seven, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went 19th.”
In his first public remarks since his season-ending injury and subsequent surgery, Bol said he initially didn’t think the non-displaced fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot was “that much of a problem” until doctors diagnosed its severity and it led to surgery by renowned orthopedic Dr. Martin O’Malley. “I was bummed out that I couldn’t play,” said Bol, who led the Ducks in scoring (21.0 points), rebounding (9.6) and blocks (2.7) prior to the injury. “It just took me like three weeks to get over it.”
Storyline: Bol Bol Injury
While basketball in general is going more toward skilled perimeter play — something Bol brings every time he takes the floor — it’s also moving toward mobile defensive play, still a struggle for the Sudanese center. His fit is paradoxical to the NBA: a dynamic offensive weapon who has significant potential to take a lot of that value away on the defensive end. Throw in that there is an over-abundance of big men populating NBA rosters versus a scarcity of NBA wings for the lineups coaches want to put on the floor in tight games, and you can see why Bol is one of this draft’s truly enigmatic figures. “He’s this draft’s swing guy,” one NBA executive told The Athletic. “Some teams are probably going to have him in the top-five, and others will have him outside of the lottery.”
That, more than anything, is why Bol will be considered a “polarizing, enigmatic” draft prospect, and why — as the scout in the lead of this article said — teams will be all over the map on Bol. Some folks around the NBA do wonder about Bol’s interests outside of basketball — something Bol himself alluded to in an interview with Stadium’s Jeff Goodman earlier this week — and that will come up again throughout the pre-draft process. It could lead to even more divergent takes on his future. However, most executives who have spoken with The Athletic have gotten more comfortable with the intel on Bol in the last few months, having less concern about whether or not he’ll work hard once he gets paid. So really, it comes down to fit more than anything.
Twenty years ago, political activist, humanitarian and former NBA center Manute Bol was accused of being an American spy and was blocked by his native Sudanese government from escaping to the United States. Four years later, the 7-foot-6-inch Bol and his family, which included his young son Bol Bol, moved to America as designated political refugees. Bol said his father cared more about others than he did himself.