The highest-rated basketball player to ever sign with Oregon seems to have come and gone in a blink of an eye.
Freshman center Bol Bol made his move to the NBA official on Saturday via his Instagram and has hired an agent at CAA, according to ESPN.
“What an incredible ride it has been,” Bol wrote. "Although I was only able to play in 9 games this year, being a part of this journey with my teammates and coaching staff all the way to the Sweet 16 has been by far one of the greatest moments of my life. We created a true brotherhood and the memories we made will last a lifetime”.
Bol’s talent was undeniable during his short stint in green and yellow. But did he display enough of his immense potential before the season ending injury to wipe away the red flag durability concerns? Will the 7-foot-2 center be a lottery selection or has his draft stock slipped?
Before diving into his NBA future, it’s important to note that Bol does have a loss-of-value insurance policy that could come into play if he winds up falling in the draft due to the fractured foot, which required surgery. Bol was unsure of the amount, according to James Crepea.
Turmoil also surrounds Bol; celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti accused the former five-star recruit of receiving funds from Nike in a recruitment scheme but has not provided specifics or evidence to support his claims.
Once a sure lottery pick, some mock drafts have him on the edge of the first round after his surgery.
He is the No. 23 prospect in the latest CBS Sports Top 75 Big Board, projected to be drafted at No. 19 to the San Antonio Spurs by Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated has Bol falling to No. 27, while both Yahoo and NBC Sports have the Boston Celtics selecting Bol with the 14th pick.
Durability is the biggest issue that surrounds Bol as he joined a large group of seven-footers with foot problems. He has dealt with various injuries throughout his basketball career and questions will linger until he’s back on the court. He is no longer wearing a walking boot or using a scooter. Bol’s prognosis, via his lawyer, says he will return to basketball activities in the summer, meaning he could be ready for the beginning of the NBA season in mid-October.
Oregon’s roster lists Bol at 235 pounds. The son of former NBA player Manute Bol who played 10 NBA seasons, will need to add some weight on to his thin frame in order to compete against the NBA bigs. However, impressively, Bol averaged nearly 30 minutes a game at Oregon. Similar to his father who blocked an average of 3.3 shots per game, Bol Bol's natural shot-blocking ability is a major strength.
Bol’s ceiling is high as a floor-spacing, rim-protecting big man. No doubt the Oregon one-and-done is in the lottery discussion. His potential for stardom outweighs the possibility of a bust, in my opinion, I believe a team will roll the dice on his unique skillset and Bol will be top-20 selection.