If the Boston Celtics keep all their first-round picks, an NBA prospect like Bol Bol is a player who could deliver high rewards.
The 7-foot-2 Bol Bol was highly coveted as one of the elite prospects heading into Thursday night’s NBA Draft. However, perhaps being limited to just nine games last season at Oregon could work to the Boston Celtics advantage as a risk with high reward.
Standing at an overwhelming 7-foot-2-inches, Bol Bol is not only the tallest player heading into tonight’s NBA Draft but perhaps the most sought after prospect.
Son of former NBA player Manute Bol, who stood at 7-foot-7, the all-time tallest player in the history of NBA basketball, was unfortunately cut down to just a nine-game season in Oregon due to a foot injury.
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However, despite being shut down from basketball activity back in January, Bol still prevails with some of the most up-side and potential of any collegiate prospect that’ll be taking the stage tonight.
Through Bol’s nine-game college career as an Oregon Duck, Bol averaged 21.0 points with 9.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 2.7 blocks. Now scoring at the collegiate level can play as one of the most misleading factors to take into account when properly evaluating a player at that level. However, it wasn’t Bol’s scoring or even rebounding abilities that most stand out when watching him.
In fact, it is Bol’s ability to shoot and do so at an efficient rate that’s extremely impressive when considering both his position on the floor and size.
Last season for the Oregon Ducks, Bol shot 56.1 percent from the field, 52 percent from three, and 75.2 percent from the line. At 56.1 percent from the field, Bol shot better than Oregon entirely, who only shot 45.1 percent, 138th among division one basketball programs in the country. Even just playing nine games, Bol still led the Ducks in points, rebounds, blocks, and shot better than anyone else from the three.
Again, this is coming from a 7-foot-2 big man who’s primary functions and expectations are to play inside and attack the glass. Well even with a short stint of a collegiate career, Bol Bol showcased those abilities and more.
Not only was he a major threat on the inside on both sides of the floor, but Bol also has something in his back pocket that not many bigs or even prospects in this draft can say they have. That being the ability to efficient shoot the ball from the outside, presenting opponents an entirely new element of threat through his offensive game.
Yet despite being perhaps one of the most fascinating prospects in this draft class, whether it’s his inherited height or undeniable gift to shoot the ball from the outside, Bol Bol is also one of the most confusing prospects in this draft.
Prior to the season, Bol was regarded as a lottery talented, expected to fall anywhere from within the top 10 selections tonight. However, here we are at draft night, and Bol’s name has been scattered all around from the top 15 to as low as the bottom 40s in mock drafts.
Nevertheless, this could be just the domino effect that the Celtics need with the recent news of Al Horford. It was announced earlier in the week that Horford declined his one-year option to remain in Boston, which quickly escalated to many expecting him to sign a three to four-year deal elsewhere via the free agency market this off-season.
The Boston Celtics currently hold the 14th, 20th, and 22nd selection in tonight’s NBA Draft. With that being said, along with the expected hit to Bol’s draft stock, this could very well be the chance that Danny Ainge and the front office takes in Boston’s off-season rebuild.
Again, I’m well aware this is a risky move with Bol coming off a season-ending foot injury. Though there still remains a major potential pay-off in selecting Bol and molding his game under the coaching of Brad Stevens who’s time and time again, managed to find a way to every positive aspect in nearly everyone’s game.
With both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford incredibly unlikely to be walking back in the TD Garden with BostonCeltics green, it’s time for the front office to get aggressive and pull the trigger for the sake of contention next season.
Let’s take into consideration that the Boston Celtics currently hold three first-round draft picks from 14 to 22. That alone shows that the room for risk is there. Nobody is expecting Danny Ainge to land a team transcending prospect with lower end first-rounders. In fact according to Adrian Wojnarowski, many don’t even expect the Celtics to utilize all of their picks.
With that being said, the skillset, potential, and height for sure are all there. That ability to defend, attack the glass, and shoot from both the field and three at a high level is something we haven’t seen in a Boston Celtics uniform since probably Kevin Garnett. Take a risk, Danny!