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2019 NBA Draft Profiles: Bol Bol could be a versatile defender for the Wizards, but he has durability concerns

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The Oregon center could fill the Wizards’ need to develop low post players for the long term. But his foot injuries make him a bit too risky for Washington short or long term.

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Oregon center Bol Bol has many of the qualities that his father Manute did. But does he have the durability to have a significant NBA career?
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The Wizards will draft ninth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 20. Starting today and leading through the draft, we will write about the players whom the Wizards will likely have available to them with that pick. Our first profile is going out today where I will write about Bol Bol, a freshman center from the University of Oregon.

Bol Bol, Center, Oregon Ducks

Where is he from? — Bol was born in Khartoum, Sudan, but moved to the United States as a child where he settled in Olathe, Kan. He played at several high schools including the renowned Mater Dei School in Santa Ana, Calif.

How did he do in college? Bol averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game for the Oregon Ducks in the 2018-19 season as a freshman.

This guy’s last name sounds familiar! That’s because Bol is a son of the late Manute Bol, a second-round pick to the then-Bullets in the 1985 NBA Draft. Bol played three seasons in Washington from 1985-88 and again in 1994.

Strengths

Bol came to Oregon as a five-star recruit for good reason. They include:

  • Rim Protection — Bol is an elite shot blocker. His length will make it difficult for other teams to score close baskets on him.
  • Three Point Shooting — Bol made 13-of-25 threes in his freshman year. The NBA three point line is certainly well behind the college and high school three point line. But expect him to be a more modern-day type of center.
  • Athleticism — We don’t associate 7-foot tall players as being fast,\. but as a lankier post player, Bol is able to move a bit quicker than many other textbook-type centers given his size. That allows him to get his rebounds and handle the ball a bit better than someone like ... Shaq in his heyday.

Weaknesses

No one player is perfect. Bol has his weaknesses too like these:

  • Strength — This is something that most NBA players have to work on once they get in the league. But Bol was listed between 210 and 235 pound depending on the source. For a 7’2 player, that is very lanky.
  • Durability — Bol only played nine games early in the season against lower level competition until suffering a foot injury that kept him out of the year. For post players, foot injuries are definitely not good, especially early in one’s career.

What was Bol’s best game as a college player?

On Nov. 16, Bol scored 26 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in an 80-65 win over Syracuse. You can watch his highlights below:

Fit for the Wizards

If the Wizards draft Bol up at ninth overall, they are probably hoping that he becomes a starting-level stretch-five player long term. However, given Bol’s lack of experience against major conference competition, it’s more likely that he is a long-term project with the Go-Go if he is in fact Washington’s first round draft pick. So yes, I would play Ian Mahinmi over Bol Bol right now, as hard as that may sound.

Another thing to consider is Bol’s injury risk. If the Wizards do draft him, it’s probably a sign that they aren’t intending on rebuilding from the ground up, sans John Wall’s contract. A team that is looking to rebuild long-term is probably looking for a player who can provide an impact right away along with upside. The Wizards aren’t picking first in this draft, so I’m of the camp that it’s best to pick someone who has the best combination of upside and short-term impact. Bol could very well be a lottery pick, but the Wizards are better off selecting someone else.


Those are my thoughts on Bol. Would you like him to play for the Wizards or do you hope he ultimately plays for someone else? Let us know in the comments below.