San Antonio Spurs Prospect Watch: Bol Bol

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The San Antonio Spurs have clinched a playoff spot for the 22nd year in a row. While that is plenty exciting in itself, there is still something more exciting coming after that in the NBA Draft.

The Spurs will have two first-round picks, barring a trade, and they should have plenty of options to choose from. We’ll be looking at a pretty risky option this week, just as picking Duke in March Madness Betting was risky, regardless of which pick is used.

Oregon’s Bol Bol will get some hard looks from NBA personnel, but it is tough to place him in a mock draft as he only played nine games this season.

Not only that but his injury — a navicular fracture in his left foot — is a serious and a mysterious one.

Should he get the “all-clear” from team medical staffs and his pre-draft workouts look good, Bol will start climbing back up¬†draft boards.

The 7-foot-2, 235-pound center has some tangible assets that would make him valuable including these stats in the nine games he played this season:

  • 21 PPG, 2.7 BPG, 1 APG, 9.6 RPG
  • 56.1 FG%, 52.0 3P%, 75.7 FT%
  • 37.5 PER, 118.2 ORtg, 86.7 DRtg

While those numbers seem astounding, we have to keep in mind that it is a very small sample size. In those games, the Oregon Ducks only played three legitimate teams in Iowa, Syracuse, and Houston.

He had three or more blocks in each of those games and didn’t score any less than 14 points. That’s pretty solid and you could make the argument that the Ducks would have been primed to win the PAC 12 with Bol as their centerpiece.

Bol clearly has the tools, size, and wingspan to be a monster in the NBA. However, there are still some questions that need answering from him (aside from the injury ones).

Bol will have to put on weight if he wants to last at the next level, but he has the arms and speed to give opposing big men nightmares.

He is getting comparisons to Kristaps Porzingis, mostly for his height. He can shoot it like Porzingis, but he will have to show that he has a motor that’s always running.

His effort has come into question on several occasions, which will surely not entice some NBA teams to pick him.

Missing most of the season doesn’t help his case either, but the stats and tangibles attributes are there for him if a GM or owner is looking to rationalize the pick around the lottery.

What Bol lacks in strength, he makes up for with not only great shooting but also smart play. He’s got a high basketball IQ (the bloodline certainly doesn’t hurt), knows how to post down low and is surprisingly athletic and smooth for someone his size.

He has a good enough handle on the ball to take some guys off the dribble if they aren’t ready for it and contorts his body fairly well around the rim to finish shots since he does not absorb the contact all that well.

He also has a bevy of post moves that get him open shots, but it remains to be seen if those will work on bigger defenders.

Grabbing the big man late in the first round might be worth the risk, especially if the Spurs can get a clear answer on his foot.

If they feel comfortable taking him, then they should be able to get him a ton of time in Austin to strengthen him up and get him more familiar with the pace of the NBA game.

Find more Draft profiles in our 2019 Prospect Watch archive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Bol Bol will have to become much stronger, if he has high basketball I.Q. which I believe he has, he will be successful in the NBA. Just have to see how he recovers from the injury he sustained earlier this year. If I were the Spurs and I feel he is right for the team, I’d make a trade for him. But, we will have to watch how the draft plays out.

  2. Bol Bol is a calculated risk with high reward if or when his talent matures. There is no reason not to take a chance on him. With all the good BBQ & Mexican restaurants in San Antonio there is no reason we couldn’t bulk him up. Drafting a stretch center will only spread the floor more and Bol Bol can shoot the three extremely well. His shot blocking is needed and will help Murray and White and Aldridge further lock down the entire court. The Spurs are a good fit for a raw talent like Bol Bol, the Spurs could garner the best performance from him in comparison to any other team in the NBA. He’ll spend his time in the G League his first year, but will come out stronger and more equipped to handle the NBA game speed. The Spurs have proven this several times over with the development of Murray, Forbes, Bertans, and White. All of which have done their time in the G League.

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