|Freshman||7’2″ 235||Center||Oregon||19 Yrs. Old|
|21 ppg||9.6 rbg||2.7 bpg||FG: 56.1%||3PT: 52%|
NBA Comparison: Kristaps Porzingis
Strengths: Perimeter scoring, Shot blocking, Guard like skill
Weaknesses: Endurance/Injury liability, Physical Strength
Bol Bol is a physical anomaly much like Kristaps Porzingis, which makes him very hard to evaluate and predict his production at the next level. His ability to play on the perimeter and shoot the ball with high efficiency at 7’2″ is unlike many players that have come before him in his size range. He can create his own shot, whether it is facing up on the perimeter and midrange, or catching the ball on the block. Work is needed on his interior play, but he can definitely score points in the paint when needed, and is always a threat to grab an offensive rebound for an easy put back. His stroke is fundamentally sound, and it shows with his 56%/52%/78% on field goals, three pointers, and free throws. Drafting a shooter who can get his shot off virtually whenever he chooses can be a huge asset if they are able to efficiently use those shots, which Bol has proven he is capable of doing. Surely, NBA scouts would have preferred to see him in Pac 12 and NCAA tournament action, forcing you to evaluate many of Oregon’s games against inferior competition. In those games, he was a star from the start, and was widely regarded as a top five pick with the possibility of going as high as #2. Unfortunately for Bol Bol, while he has been injured Zion Williamson cemented his place as the #1 pick in this years draft and players like Jarrett Culver and Ja Morant have played their way into the top five conversations. This video here gives you an idea of how well Bol can shoot the ball just messing around in a pre-game shootaround.
On the defensive side of the ball, he runs the risk of being overpowered by much heavier and stronger players, but he can be an elite shot blocker using his 7’8″ wingspan. As long as he can add weight to his 235 pound frame, and figure out a way to deal with some of the more bigger centers in the league, he projects as a defensive star. The freshman can run the floor well, much more like a wing than a 7 footer, which will allow him to get fast break points and blocked shots on defense when trailing. His vertical leap is solid, but with his wingspan he doesn’t have to jump much to get his shots off or block a shot. In his short college time and in high school, he was able to handle the ball getting by defenders and leading to jumpers, but that will be much more difficult to do against quicker and bigger wings than you find at those levels. He should still be able to use that part of his game, but there will be an adjustment period in that regard. Because of his all around abilities, even if a team has a well established post playing center, they could still select Bol and phase him into their lineup as more of a perimeter oriented big who can also play down low when called upon to do so.
As with any player that is thin and 7’2″, his endurance and his ability to stay healthy are big question marks especially given he only played 9 games this year before a season ending injury. The injury was officially called a navicular stress fracture in his foot, and it has effected other players after their injury in a negative way, while some players have continued their career without a hitch. Michael Jordan and Joel Embiid being two examples of their careers not being impacted by the injury, with Yao Ming being a player that had significant problems staying healthy going forward. Only time will tell with Bol, and it is unlikely to effect his draft stock to the point that he falls outside of the lottery. We currently have him at #9 in our mock draft. If he can stay healthy, there is no reason that he should not be a high level starter with multiple all star selections as his ceiling. If his durability continues to be a problem, it will likely go down as a bust selection assuming he will go in the top 12 or so picks.