The REAL Reason Why Bol Bol Was DRAFTED In The Second Round (Ft. NBA Teams, Wingspan, & Height)
Bol Bol was picked in the second round as the 44th pick in the 2019 NBA draft, but as a 7 footer who can shoot and handle the ball, why did Bol Bol get drafted in the second round. #NBA
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Bol Bol, the 7 foot 2 player from Oregon with a 7’ 8” wingspan. You heard me correctly, 7’ 2” with a 7’ 8” wingspan and he’s doing this. He’s a demigod. Before the draft, Shaq said that he would take Bol Bol over Zion as a player he would build around and ESPN had him as the number 5 pick after the first month of college basketball.
In order to first see why teams passed up on him, we have to first build his case, look at what makes him a good prospect, and then see what outweighed all that. Like I said Bol Bol is 7’ 2” and played in Oregon with a 9’ 7” standing reach. In his first and only college season, he averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks off 56% shooting from the field and 52% from 3. A 7 footer shooting over 50% from 3. Bol Bol led all of college basketball in 3 point shooting percentage. Even if it’s with this form, he is making them at a ridiculous rate. Remember his dad Manute Bol, the 7’ 7” giant. He made 6 threes in a half with that form. Yeah, he had a stress fracture that sidelined him for the rest of the college season after he had surgery. He’s recovered 100% as of now. Even with that injury, all mock drafts and scouts had Bol Bol being drafted between 14 and 23 because there was much more upside than just a 3 and D big man. He was one of the 22 prospects invited to the green room in the NBA draft room with Zion, RJ, Ja, and the other high profile prospects.
Bol Bol can create his own shot. He has decent handles. If you look at his high school highlights and even some of his college highlights, you can see that he’s actually putting the ball on the floor. He’s pump faking and taking one dribble into a jumpshot or driving all the way to the paint. There’s great footplanting with that left foot, he’s keeping the ball low, and he accelerations by. It’s was a shooting guard or small forward would do but he did it as he 7’ 2” center. Bol Bol reminds me of another 7 footer, yet he doesn’t say he’s 7 feet and that’s Kevin Durant. Jxmyhighroller said the same thing in his video about Bol Bol and I feel the same way. Bol Bol’s handles are just something we haven’t seen by a guy at his size, and it stems from him dribbling the ball at a low point like a guard and then exploding back up to take advantage of his height, just like Durant does. Durant keeps the ball low to the ground and right before he’s about to shoot, he transfers the ball from low to high into his jumpshot.
Well even with all these moves, Bol Bol wasn’t a polished prospect, he was considered to be a project. Being 208 pounds as a 7 footer in high school and college is one thing but being 208 pounds in the NBA where there point guards with the same weight as him would make it a tough transition, similar to a guy like Porzingis who was criticized for his weight at 233 pounds. Knicks fans booed him for being as thin as a lampost. That weight along with that frame and height usually leads to injury concerns. Pair that with a stress fracture that was most likely due to his size and lottery teams were not going to take that big of a risk versus choosing a prospect with a more established floor.
Well these projections for Bol Bol didn’t take into what scouts thought about his intangibles. Trusted scouts stated that Bol Bol in high school lacked desire and motor. Those are things you can’t teach and with the project Bol Bol would be, you would need a guy that’s absolutely committed to working hard and have the desire to be an all-time great. Consider that his father Manute Bol was 200 pounds while being 7’ 7” and it might be really hard for Bol Bol to gain weight just like his father so he would need to work harder than most to gain any weight.
Also, most NBA teams didn’t have the luxury of a deep center rotation while already being a good team that allows them to experiment with Bol Bol and not matter necessarily if it doesn’t pan out. The Nuggets have Jokic and Mason Plumlee. Jokic is signed until 2023.
The Nuggets said that he was definitely much higher on their list than 44th. But when teams were faced with the choice of taking Bol Bol, the concerns won over the potential. I think the one thing that this draft gave Bol Bol no matter what was motivation. Even if he really was unmotivated or lacked motor, 29 other teams just gave him motivation to prove all of them wrong. I’ve been super excited for Bol Bol ever since I saw the high school footage of him just straight up dominating at that height with a smooth handle. I’m just waiting for the day that Bol Bol proves the haters wrong, but what do you think? Will Bol Bol be a star or a bust?