CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers intend to add Australian forward Jonah Bolden to their summer league team.
The Sixers, as David Pick first reported, submitted a request for a Letter of Clearance to allow Bolden to leave Maccabi Tel Aviv and join the team in Las Vegas. The team said Wednesday that once the paperwork clears FIBA, Bolden would be added to the roster.
According to Bolden, he's heading to Vegas.
Bolden, the Sixers’ selection at No. 36 in the 2017 draft, is an intriguing prospect. He played with the Sixers in summer league last year, averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 points, showcasing a versatile game and the ability to stretch the floor.
In May, then-president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Bolden was the most likely draft-and-stash prospect to join the Sixers for the 2018-19 season. Bolden has an NBA opt-out in his three-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds last season in EuroLeague play and posted 7.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest in Israeli League competition.
"The one that is most likely to join this team, if at all, is Jonah Bolden," Colangelo said in May. "Some of that's being discussed and talked about right now. He's got an option, an NBA-out in his contract to come if it works out favorably for him and us. And that's part of a negotiation. But the team, Maccabi, has his rights for next year in the event that he does not take advantage of his opt-out."
While the decision to have Bolden play in summer league doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll join the Sixers for the regular season, it will present another opportunity for the Sixers to evaluate Bolden’s game, which they’re clearly already high on.
Summer league coach Kevin Young came away impressed with the variety of tools Bolden displayed last year.
“What he did last year was defended at a high level, made shots from the outside and he brought a different level of athleticism to the group,” Young said Wednesday, “so those are the things that we’ll be looking for from him in summer league.”
Demetrius Jackson, who was part of the Celtics’ summer league team last campaign, highlighted Bolden’s effort and shooting ability.
“I do remember him, I played against him twice or three times maybe,” Jackson said. "He’s talented, too, another great player. I just remember how hard he played. If I remember right, he can stretch the floor, shoot the ball, so he’s another great player to add to the team. With him and Furkan [Korkmaz] coming, we should have a really great group this summer.”
Korkmaz has been competing for Turkey in FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers. He’s already on the Sixers’ summer league roster and is expected to play in Las Vegas.
The Sixers’ first summer league game is Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Celtics.