Denver Nuggets

Could Bol Bol's NBA debut lead Warriors to regret passing on him?

Could Bol Bol's NBA debut lead Warriors to regret passing on him?

Let's get all of the qualifiers out of the way first.

Yes, it was one game.

Yes, we've seen Warriors' youngsters put up huge exhibition performances in the past, only to never come close to fulfilling their apparent potential.

And yes, the second round of the draft is a crapshoot.

But my oh my, did Bol Bol look mighty impressive in his NBA debut Wednesday in the Denver Nuggets' first exhibition game in the Orlando bubble against the Washington Wizards.

Sixteen points, 10 rebounds, six blocks, two 3-pointers and a plus-18 in 32 minutes of action. From a guy who is 7-foot-2 and won't turn 21 until November. The stats don't do his performance justice.

The Warriors, of course, chose three players ahead of Bol in the 2019 NBA draft. And despite all of the aforementioned qualifiers, it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up regretting passing on Bol.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Eric Paschall was one of those three, and Golden State deserves credit, not criticism, for that selection. He had a tremendous rookie season, averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and likely will be named to one of the All-Rookie teams. It was a hell of a pick by the Warriors, especially since it came with the third (and last) of their selections at No. 41 overall.

It's the previous two picks that could come back to bite them if Bol goes on to be a stud.

Jordan Poole, selected with the No. 28 overall pick in the first round, struggled in his first NBA season. Inconsistency is to be expected from a rookie, but the Warriors surely were hoping for better 3-point shooting (27.9 percent) and that Poole would be able to play the point more effectively than he did.

Still, the Warriors needed a guard, so you can see why they picked him. And we shouldn't discount his potential to bounce back in his sophomore season.

And then there's Alen Smailagic, whom Golden State took with the No. 39 overall pick -- a selection acquired by trading two future second-rounders to the New Orleans Pelicans. He was 18 years old at the time, and had impressed in 47 appearances with the Santa Cruz Warriors as the youngest player in G League history.

Given the time and effort the franchise had invested in Smailagic prior to the draft, it wasn't exactly a well-kept secret that the Warriors sought to retain him with one of their selections. At No. 39 -- five picks ahead of Bol -- though, it arguably was a case of Golden State overvaluing its own asset.

The pick also was questionable in the sense that the Warriors -- at the time, at least -- were believed to need players who could immediately contribute, and Smailagic still is quite raw.

He showed glimpses of his potential in 14 appearances with Golden State before the season was shut down, and you could see why the Warriors believe he has a bright future. But after Wednesday, there probably aren’t many who would trade Bol for Smailagic straight up.

Bol certainly had his reasons for slipping in the draft, and it should be noted that the Warriors were one of 29 teams that passed on him. He only appeared in nine collegiate games and came with big injury concerns (that's what happens when you're 7-foot-2). Those concerns didn't disappear after his selection, either, as a foot problem limited him to just eight G League games.

However ...

If you're going to go young and high upside with a pick, you might as well shoot for the stars -- not to mention, the offspring of one of the largest (literally) fan favorites in franchise history. Bol -- who only is 275 days older than Smailagic and is the son of the late Manute -- offered even more upside, and arguably the same risk.

Bol put that upside on display Wednesday. And, yes, it was only one game, and one that didn't count, no less. But while the bubble exhibitions might look like Summer League, they're definitely a step up in competition due to the players involved.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors to find out 2020 NBA Draft position sooner]

It was only one game, hindsight is 20/20, the Warriors' rookies all could turn out to be great and Bol's performance Wednesday might be a flash in the pan.

But, if it was an indication of what's to come, that could be a hard one to swallow.

George Karl describes 'fishy' 2013 Andre Iguodala-Mark Jackson moment

George Karl describes 'fishy' 2013 Andre Iguodala-Mark Jackson moment

It has been over seven years since the Warriors beat Andre Iguodala and the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

But that series was back in the news Wednesday because of a topic discussed between George Karl -- the Nuggets' coach at the time -- and The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show" podcast.

Kawakami: "Did you have any issue with Iguodala being close to the Warriors and then he ends up signing with the Warriors -- is that an issue in your mind at all?"

Karl: "Yeah. I don't know what the real story is, but there were things there that we saw in film. There was something with Mark Jackson and him that was fishy. Had a bad odor to it. It was negative energy.

"The team gradually figured it out that Iggy was kind of favoring Golden State's Jackson. His comments were a little bit irregular. But Iggy played well in that series. He played very well for us."


[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

You might remember what Jackson told the media after the Warriors' Game 5 loss in Denver.

“They tried to send hit men (at Steph Curry),” he said. "The screen on Curry by the foul line is a shot at his ankle, clearly, it can’t be debated. I have inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball and they clearly didn’t co-sign it, so they wanted to let me know that they had no part in what was taking place."

You also might recall Karl back in November 2013 -- four months after Iguodala joined Golden State -- answering "no question" when asked if he believes Iguodala was Jackson's "mole."

But as Karl noted to Kawakami, Iguodala produced in a major way over those six games. He certainly didn't "throw" the series or anything like that. The three-time NBA champion averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals, while shooting 50 percent from the field and over 48 percent from deep.

But clearly, Karl -- who was the Warriors' head coach from 1986 to 1988 -- still holds some ill will towards the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

[RELATED: Six nightmare scenarios Warriors avoided in last 10 years]

Lastly, we will leave you with a highlight from that Warriors-Nuggets matchup.

Oh, the memories.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Troy Daniels’ NBA bubble meal photos show what awaits Kings in Orlando

Troy Daniels’ NBA bubble meal photos show what awaits Kings in Orlando

When the Kings arrive at the Yacht Club hotel in the Disney World complex Wednesday, the food they are given might not be what they are used to consuming on a daily basis.

Several NBA teams, including the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, arrived in Orlando on Tuesday, and a few players posted photos of the food they received.

Nuggets guard Troy Daniels posted two images on his Instagram Story on Tuesday night.

Here's the menu provided to Daniels:

Fresh Garden Greens, Arugula, 
Watermelon, Pickled Red Onions, Goat 
Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad
Italian Grilled Chicken with Natural Jus
White fish with Tomato and Dill Topping
Pamesan Polenta with Sundried Tomatoes
Pasta with Impossible Bolognese Sauce
Roasted Summer Vegetables

Nets point guard Chris Chiozza posted a photo of the full meal.

Former Kings guard Isaiah Thomas saw the photos Daniels posted, and figured there's no way Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James would eat the spread.

While that menu is pretty extensive, most high-level athletes are pretty particular about what they put into their bodies, so some of the players might not like this menu.

[RELATED: Report: Bazemore to promote education reform on jersey]

For those worried that the players aren't getting meals that meet their dietary requirements, The New York Times' Marc Stein has good news:

The Kings will enter the NBA's Orlando bubble on Wednesday and will be quarantined for a few days while they are administered coronavirus tests.

Once the team's quarantine concludes, they will begin group workouts this weekend. Starting Wednesday, the Kings will conduct the first of three scrimmages against other teams in the bubble.

The Kings' first of eight seeding games will take place on Friday, July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]