In four games with the Bulls, the Denver Nuggets 2019 second round pick averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 17 minutes per game. His production in limited playing time, along with immense physical tools and skill level, have Nuggets and NBA fans excited for his NBA future.
As the Nuggets continue to progress through their season, a major talking point has been the struggles of the bench unit. Shooting is the biggest flaw, and it is also one of Bol’s greatest strengths at the center position. His shooting talent is very real, and while he missed his only three-pointers in the G-League, he made 3-of-4 shots from 15 to 19 feet, according to NBA.com. Even that level of spacing could open the paint in situations where Nikola Jokic is off the floor.
Is Bol Bol ready to contribute at the NBA level? Probably not. I suspect the Nuggets did not bring him up to the NBA level to play legitimate minutes, but keep in mind that Bol is on a two-way contract. He has a limited amount of time (45 work days) he can spend with the Nuggets, meaning that the Nuggets recalling him was purposeful and thought out. On a roster with only two other full-time centers, those days may matter later in the season.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Michael Malone and the coaching staff attempt to get Bol his first NBA minutes on the remainder of this home stand. The Nuggets play the Phoenix Suns tomorrow and the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, and if things go well, Bol may see some minutes at the end of the game. Malone and co. will do what they can to keep their young prospect engaged and focused, while also rewarding him for working hard in his G-League stints and doing what they ask him to do. If he continues to progress and work hard, he may see his contract converted to a full-time deal, seeing as the Nuggets have an open roster spot remaining.
Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to see Bol around the team for the remainder of the home stand. The Nuggets are playing well, and on a team where 12 players deserve roster minutes, those guys rallying around Bol so that he could have his moment would be a breath of fresh air from the pressure surrounding a team with championship aspirations.