Drafting Oregon’s Bol Bol Would Be Best-Case Scenario For Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On a recent NBA mock draft special on ESPN, the experts predicted that the Utah Jazz would select former University of Oregon center Bol Bol.
In explaining the pick, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz said that Utah would be the ideal place for Bol.
“They can groom him behind a guy like Rudy Gobert. He’s a top five talent in this draft,” praised Schmitz of Bol.
If it comes to fruition and Bol is still on the board when the Jazz make their selection, team officials should sprint the floor with no hesitation to hand NBA commissioner Adam Silver their pick. Drafting Bol would be the best possible play for Utah on draft day.
The Bol name probably sounds familiar to NBA fans. He’s the son of late NBA star Maunte Bol, and like his father, who passed away in 2010, he’s quite tall. His dad was one of the tallest players in NBA history, standing at a towering 7-foot-7. The younger Bol doesn’t have quite that same height, but he’s still been measured at an incredible 7-foot-3.
While he lacks four inches in height from his famous father, Bol has skills and abilities on the hardwood that his pops could have never dreamed of. Bol came out of high school as a legitimate five-star prospect as a huge figure on the floor who can not only do all the things that can be expected of a 7-footer, but also handle the rock like a guard. But like his dad, who had a strangely effective way of shooting the occasional 3-pointer, Bol can also fill it up from deep. In one game last season, Bol went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the Ducks’ upset loss to Texas Southern.
There is however, a reason why Bol could possibly fall from a sure-fire lottery pick to the mid-20s, where Utah will pick. After just nine games into his collegiate career at Oregon, Bol suffered a stress fracture in his left foot, which ended his only season with the Ducks.
Foot injuries are typically especially concerning for big men. For example, former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming had his career cut short due to a multiple lower body injuries, including a fractured foot. There’s an element of risk in selecting Bol, but for Utah, the potential reward may be worth the risk.
Putting Bol on the bench to learn and sub in for Gobert would do wonders for Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s game planning. Not only would opposing teams have to game plan for one shot-altering 7-footer waiting for them in the paint, they’d have to deal with two. The game definitely changes for Utah when Gobert needs to come out and rest but having Bol as his replacement would provide the team with a full 48 minutes with a major shot-blocking presence. His ability to shoot from range could also add a new element to Utah’s attack.
There’s no one better for Bol to learn from in the NBA than Gobert, who is considered to be the frontrunner to win his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year later this month. If all goes well, and maybe even better than expected, Bol could help the Jazz save some money and build around Donovan Mitchell rather than trying to accommodate both Mitchell and Gobert’s future salary demands.
Once Gobert’s current deal expires after the 2020-21 season, he’ll be eligible for a supermax extension, which will likely be around $250 million in total and $40 million per season. That kind of money, while probably deserved by Gobert, will make things incredibly difficult for the Jazz to build a quality roster top to bottom.
If the Jazz land Bol this summer and if he proves to be a competent NBA player, it’s possible that Utah would be willing to let Gobert go sign with another team in free agency. He’d be replaced by Bol in the starting lineup and the team would go forward from there with much more money to play with in acquiring solid and necessary role players. It would make it much easier to give Mitchell the money he also deserves when the time comes.
So Jazz fans, when the NBA Draft rolls around on June 20th, do everything you can to help Bol fall into the hands of the team. Pray to the basketball gods, put on your lucky City edition jersey, rub the stomach of your Frank Layden bobblehead for good fortune, do whatever it takes.
Visualize happy thoughts, like Adam Silver walking to the podium in Chicago and saying these words:
“With the 23rd overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select Bol Bol from the University of Oregon.”