Bol Bol's 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Analysis of Nuggets Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 21, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16: Bol Bol #1 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates his three point shot in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 16, 2018 in New York City.The Oregon Ducks defeated the Syracuse Orange 80-65. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets have selected Bol Bol with the No. 44 pick of the 2019 NBA draft. Denver acquired this pick from Miami during the draft.

He was on his way toward becoming one of college basketball's must-watch stars before a fractured foot ended his season nine games in. He's now viewed as arguably the draft's No. 1 boom-or-bust prospect because of his special positional skill set and a body that scouts have questioned can hold up.


Quick hitters

Size: 7'2½"

Weight: 208 pounds

Wingspan: 7'7"

Reach: 9'7½"

Pro comparison: Kristaps Porzingis lite


Offensive strengths

Bol has a unique mix of size and offensive skill. He was averaging 21.0 points per game before the injury, scoring on defenses from each level. Bol's shooting range pops first, as he hit 13 of 25 three-pointers. But he's also a versatile shot-maker, capable of converting out of every spot and situation. He's a fluid creator and can hit jumpers from the post. In flashes, we saw ball-handling and the ability to put the ball down and score off dribbles.


Offensive weaknesses

Bol's skinny frame and legs aren't suited for physicality and contact. It's worth questioning whether he'll be able to hold position in the paint or execute against stronger NBA bigs. He doesn't always take advantage of his size, often opting to show off perimeter moves and jumpers. Bol also totaled just nine assists in his nine games.


Defensive outlook

Bol blocked 2.7 shots per game with his giant wingspan. Even if his awareness isn't high, he can still be disruptive around the basket. However, heavier centers can easily move and bully Bol below the rim. He doesn't always play with a sense of urgency. He can be slow to react off the ball, and there are concerns about his quickness and reads in pick-and-roll coverage.


Rookie-year projection

Bol could need a year to build back some muscle after dropping to 208 pounds (he was listed at 235 at Oregon). The coaching staff will also be reluctant to play him big minutes based on his weak defensive awareness. As a rookie, he'll hold the most value offensively for his finishing and ability to stretch the floor. Expect flashes of unicorn potential and sequences that highlight his lack of strength, defensive feel and motor.


Projected role: Stretch-5 scoring specialist

Bol plays Kristaps Porzingis' game, but he isn't as explosive or physically solid. As long as he can stay healthy, however, Bol's coordination and touch should translate to shot-making and scoring from the elbows and wings. His defensive development will factor heavily into his future value. Becoming a stretch 5 who can also protect the rim at a high level would put him in rare company. Either way, Bol's offensive skill should be enough for him to land a starting center job.