According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Nuggets rookie Bol Bol will remain eligible as a candidate for the Rookie of the Year award next season even if he plays in regular season games this year inside the bubble.
Any player who makes his NBA debut inside the bubble once games begin Thursday -- like Denver Nuggets big man Bol Bol -- will remain eligible for next year's Rookie of the Year award, league sources tell ESPN.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 28, 2020
Bontemps clarified in a later tweet that this line of thinking comes as an addition to the decision made earlier to exclude the eight seeding games from counting towards this season’s awards. Since those games don’t count, it doesn’t make sense to disqualify players like Bol from eligibility for awards next season.
Bol, who was drafted 44th overall in 2019, has yet to play in an official NBA game this season. His unofficial debut came in Denver’s first scrimmage game last week in which he posted 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks while capturing the hearts of NBA fans everywhere.
Even though Bol is coming onto a crowded roster with sights set on a deep playoff run, it’s good to know that if he did get some minutes they wouldn’t count against his eligibility for the award next year. In just his few scrimmage games he has shown flashes of brilliance; one would be hard pressed not to include him as a contender for it in 2020-2021 if he has a solidified role.
Denver’s first seeding game is against the Miami Heat this Saturday at 11:00 am MST.