10. Atlanta Hawks
Bol Bol: Center/ Forward – Oregon
Height:7’3 Weight:208 Age:19.6
Wingspan:7’7 Standing Reach:9’8
This pick is totally contingent on Bol Bol’s medical reports. The pick will definitely change if he does not get a good prognosis from Atlanta Hawks team doctors. He will be medically cleared from foot surgery in two weeks, giving him time to go through individual workouts with teams. If his health checks out, Bol Bol is too talented to pass up at number ten.
Bol Bol brings skills that most seven footers just do not possess. He has a hook shot, a turnaround jump shot, a fade away and other post moves inside like a traditional big man. Yet he also shoots the three ball with the range and accuracy that many guards don’t posses. Bol is a career 38 percent shooter from beyond the arch. This makes him a great trail man of the fast break, as he offers the threat of stopping to shoot a three, or continuing towards the basket for a lob. Bol also shoots free throws very well. He handles the ball well too. He can put the ball on the floor to avoid defenders attempting to close out and step in or over, to get a clean look at the basket. When he does post up, Bol makes quick and decisive moves. Bol can even grab rebounds and push the ball up court to lead the fast break. He shows the potential to be a good passer as well. His reach and timing make him a huge lob threat and a good offensive rebounder. He often dunks back missed shots without much effort. Bol Bol is quick and moves very smoothly for his height.
On the defensive end, he’s able to block shots without fouling. He only averaged 1.7 fouls per game. He’s not only good as a help defender, his long reach and timing allow him to block many players, who dare attempt to shoot over him. He is a good drop defender against the pick and roll as his long arms allow him to contest shots from a distance. His height and length alone make it very difficult for perimeter players to shoot over him and allows him to alter a high number of shots. That length and reach also make him a very good defensive rebounder.
House of Highlights provides us with a glimpse of Bol Bol’s incredible talent, in the following video from their YouTube channel:
Bol Bol must get stronger to bang inside in the NBA. He also needs to gain more weight. He alarmingly lost 20 – 25 pounds, while sitting out with his foot injury. This has caused some Hawks fans who deem him to be too big of a risk, to label him as “Pole Pole”. Bol is not alone in this however, as Missouri big man Jontay Porter experienced a similar weight loss while injured this season. While Bol Bol makes some great passes, he needs to make better decisions overall and cut down on his turnovers. Post defense against the few centers that still post up, will be difficult for Bol until he gets stronger. Bol’s slim build makes it difficult for him to set screens. Bol Bol’s motor has also been questioned. He has a tendency to rely on his physical advantages and must give full effort at all times. Keep in mind though, that Kevin Durant had these same questions about him coming out of college, so this narrative can be changed. Durant also failed to do one rep on the bench press, yet he turned out okay. Bol Bol also has a low release point on his shot. At 7’3 it is still difficult to contest his shot, but if he’s able to raise that release point, his shot will be nearly impossible to contest. Bol has the quickness and wingspan to contain perimeter players on the pick and roll, but he needs to refine his footwork, increase his awareness and learn to take better angles.
Bol Bol would be a great fit with the Atlanta Hawks as a big that can stretch the floor on offense, allowing Trae Young and John Collins room to operate inside. He would be a wonderful lob target for Trae Young, turning the Hawks into “lob city” south. If teams try to put a smaller defender on him, Bol can punish them inside. On the defensive end, he offers a much-needed rebounder and weak side rim protector. If Bol Bol displays the attitude of wanting to be great, he is the ideal pick for the Atlanta Hawks scheme. Bol Bol is the most polarizing player in this year’s draft, a lot like Trae Young was last year. Some fans and experts see him as a bust, who is bound to be injured his entire career. On the other hand, may NBA experts believe he would have been a top five pick in this draft, had he not gotten injured. Kyle Boone of CBS Sports has Bol being selected number nine by the Washington Wizards in his mock draft. Many fans do love the idea of a drafting the skilled big man. If team doctors don’t label him as a huge long-term health risk, the Atlanta Hawks should pull the trigger on drafting Bol Bol with the tenth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
2018 Stats: Pts:21 REB:9.6 APG:1 STL:0.8 BLK:2.7 FG%:56.1 2P%:57 3P%:52 FT%:75.7
NBA Scouting Report provides this Bol Bol scouting video via their YouTube channel: