Bol Bol can Stake his Own Family Legacy Claim


Bol Bol is the 7-foot-2 son of former NBA legend Manute Bol, who played his freshman season at the University of Oregon and declared for the 2019 NBA draft after his freshman year ended with a foot injury requiring surgery.

Bol Bol was believed to be a top talent in the 2019 draft and was expected to be a lottery pick, but concerns about his injury, surgery and recovery time forced teams to pass on him. The Nuggets, who at the start of Draft Night didn’t have any selections, traded for pick No. 44 in the second round by offering a future second-round pick to the Miami Heat.

The Nuggets roster offers a perfect situation for Bol to get healthy, work out, and build his NBA body for one season. The Nuggets’ depth isn’t ideal this year, but with Bol sitting for one season, he will have a chance to build chemistry with his teammates and coaches while rehabbing and not rushing back. Mason Plumlee is the backup center for Nikola Jokic, and he is under contract through the 2019-2020 season. After next year, the backup center position will open up for Bol Bol to slide in and make an impact.


Assuming that the 2020-21 season to be Bol Bol’s rookie year, he will be in a situation that will allow him to thrive as a serious role player. Plumlee in 2018 played 21 minutes per game, was a form of secondary scoring, and was the second-team defensive rim protector. His vacancy will open the doors to allow Bol to step in and contribute.

What exactly can be expected from Bol when he is healthy and his time to shine finally comes? In his nine games at Oregon, he averaged 21 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and three blocks a game in 29 minutes while shooting 56 percent from the field and 52 percent from behind the arc. In college, he proved to be an elite scorer with both elite finishing ability inside the paint and shooting from three-point land.


The Dallas Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis is nicknamed ‘The Unicorn’ because of his unique combination of height and shooting ability. However, Bol is the same height and shoots the three at a higher clip based on his small sample size in college.

Bol’s 7-foot-2 stature, 235-lbs build, and 9-foot-3.5 wingspan with a shot-blockers mentality make him an absolute spectacle in terms of rim protection and team defense. He will slot in perfectly on the Nuggets’ roster that has lacked a true rim-protecting big since Jusuf Nurkic left town. Mason Plumlee has been the rim protector for the last three seasons and he has averaged a measly one block per game as a Nugget. Bol Bol, for comparison, averaged three blocks per game in his lone collegiate season.

Only time will tell the impact Bol Bol will have on the NBA and the Denver Nuggets, but health notwithstanding, he looks to be an absolute steal of a draft pick, put in a position to succeed, on a team that will be fighting for NBA championships for at least the next half-decade. With continued development, he can prove to be an X-factor for the Nuggets and change the dynamic of the bench and role players.

A true knockdown, spot-up, three-point shooter and naturally-gifted rim protector will serve as an asset the Nuggets have a chance to harness while only giving up a future second-round pick to obtain.


Bol Bol has a chance to continue the legacy left behind by Manute Bol, but he has a better opportunity to be his own player, create his own legacy, and redefine what an NBA big man can do. His rare combination of size, scoring ability, athleticism and shot-blocking ability could combine to make him one of the most unique players in the NBA.


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