Name: Bol Bol
Height (w/ shoes): 7’2.5″
Weight: 208 pounds
STATISTICS (Nine Games)
21.0 points (56.1/52.0/75.7), 9.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks.
The son of legendary NBA center Manute Bol, it should come as no surprise that the first thing that stands out about Bol Bol is his outstanding size and length. He is a legit seven-footer with an outstanding wingspan that allowed him to be one of the best rim protectors in the country during his abbreviated season at Oregon.
However, he isn’t some slow lumbering big man like his height would suggest as he is an extremely coordinated and fluid athlete for someone of his size. He has outstanding shooting ability for a big, knocking down more than half of his three-pointers and his free throw shooting suggests that will carry over to the next level. He has also shown the ability to handle the ball decently, allowing him to attack closeouts off the dribble.
He has also shown some flashes of a post game with a decent hook shot down low and a soft touch overall. He has great hands that allow him to catch the ball in traffic and finish lobs down low and he does an excellent job of keeping the ball high and not allowing guards to swipe at it down low.
Bol is a truly unique player who can potentially be an elite rim protector while also spacing the floor on offense. With some work, he could be dangerous on both the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop.
As tantalizing as Bol’s skill set is, there are some major concerns that start with his physical traits. He was already extremely thin at 234 pounds while playing at Oregon, but was down to just 208 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine as he recovers from a stress fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot that ended his college career.
That injury in itself is a major concern. Foot injuries for players of his size are extremely scary as fans have seen the likes of Bill Walton, Yao Ming, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Greg Oden, and most recently, Joel Embiid have their careers seriously altered or even ended due to foot problems. If this becomes an ongoing issue, Bol may never come close to reaching his potential.
While on the court, that lack of bulk and high center of gravity allows for Bol to be pushed around on the post pretty easily and also affects his ability to set solid screens. He also has a tendency to stick on the perimeter too much, relying on his jumper when he can also be a force on the post.
There are also serious concerns about his work ethic and overall approach to the game. He appeared out of shape at Oregon and his effort on the court — especially on defense — often lacked due to fatigue.
FIT WITH LAKERS
The main needs for the Lakers are for a rim-protecting big man and perimeter shooting. Bol is the rare prospect that fits both of those needs. He has outstanding defensive potential with his ability to block and alter shots at the rim and stretch the floor with his outstanding shooting ability that should translate to the next level.
The concerns, however, are real as foot problems for big men rarely go away without forcing extreme alterations to their overall game. Whether he can withstand the rigors of an 82-game season or even give premium effort at all times while on the court are legitimate questions that the Lakers will need to answer.
Very few have the ceiling that Bol possesses, but he seems to be more of a project than an immediate contributor. The Lakers will have to be sure of his medicals and mental makeup before taking him, but he undoubtedly has the potential to be one of the biggest difference-makers in the entire 2019 NBA Draft.