It’s been a long two years for Bol Bol, son of former NBA center Manute Bol. In his only season at the University of Oregon, he only appeared in nine games before breaking his foot, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. He entered the draft as a potential top talent with injury history. His stock fell. He ended up getting selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 44th pick. He now becomes a part of a great problem for the Nuggets, as they have too many mouths to feed at the center position. Also, missing time to continue rehabbing his foot. For the Nuggets, working with a player rehabbing from an injury they sustained in college isn’t new territory. They’d done it just the year before with redshirt rookie Michael Porter, Jr. and his scary back injury. Both Bol and Porter have one thing in common: they’re potentially elite talents at the pro level that the team picked up for a steal. Two years in a row of picking up potentially the steal of the draft. The team has been really good about players rehabbing from injury on their clock and allowing immense time to be ready.
Porter sat out his entire rookie year, watching and learning from the bench. Bol has been able to spend bits of time in the G-League with the Windy City Bulls, appearing in eight games. As the season progressed, the hopes of Bol appearing in an NBA game this season slimmed. Then, enter Coronavirus. As the league shut down for three months, and players entered the bubble in Orlando, hope for a Bol appearance began to shine through.
The Nuggets are without their full squad as their first scrimmage of the NBA restart approaches on Wednesday. They are reported to be without Torrey Craig, Gary Harris, Porter Jr, and Monte Morris. Bol stands at 7’2 but has the agility to play multiple positions. He’s said to be seen practicing at the small forward position.
The Nuggets are expected to have only nine healthy bodies for their first scrimmage. We could end up seeing a healthy dose of the rookie, and it could be in any number of roles. Coach Michael Malone even went as far as to say, “if we have to play Bol Bol at point guard, we will.” In other words, experimenting with the rookie big man appears to be likely. With that, begins the Bol hype train. The real question now is, what should we expect? That’s a tough question.
This is the perfect time to give Bol some run though. One would hope that the lack of bodies forces Coach Malone to not take the annoyingly cautious route that he did with MPJ. No matter the minutes he plays, you hope to see him just be able to keep up with NBA speed and understand the Malone system on both sides of the ball.
As for productivity, the center has shown a very impressive shooting stroke from the perimeter and a long reach to block shots. Whatever minutes he gets will likely not happen in games that matter. Regardless, the internet will likely explode with every second that Bol is on an NBA court. Let’s just say this, the Legend of Bol Bol has already begun.
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