Bol Bol is enjoying a breakout season with the Magic after three frustrating years in Denver and he accepts the blame for things not working out better with the Nuggets, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Bol was a second-round pick in 2019 and was acquired by Denver in a draft-night trade. Even though the organization was excited about his combination of size and skill, he only appeared in 53 total games before being traded last January.
“Yeah, I can say there was a little bit, I feel I could’ve worked a lot harder,” Bol said. “That was just me being young. That’s one of the things I learned, you have to work hard or (stuff’s) not gonna work out for you.”
Bol was dealt twice prior to last year’s deadline and ended up with a rebuilding Orlando team that gave him a better opportunity to develop. He wasn’t able to play for the Magic last season because of injuries, but he has generated Most Improved Player talk this year, averaging 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds in 39 games.
“New space, new opportunity for me,” Bol explained. “A younger team. It wasn’t like (Denver), where it was kind of hard for me to play because they were already a really good team, an established team, a playoff team. Now, I’m just getting a restart.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- In an interview with Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, Kyle Kuzma says he’s willing to consider re-signing with the Wizards when he becomes a free agent this summer. “Yeah, 100 percent, for sure,” Kuzma responded. “For me, it’s all about my growth and how I can improve. That’s the thing I’m always chasing — trying to get better.” There has been speculation that Kuzma will be looking for a change of scenery once he declines his $13MM player option for next season.
- Mental mistakes have played a role in the Hornets‘ collapse into the worst team in the East, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The roster is similar to the one that reached the play-in tournament the past two seasons, but players are having trouble staying focused for 48 minutes. “It’s just the discipline that we lack,” Dennis Smith Jr. said. “Ever since coming into the league, I was always taught ‘game plan discipline, game plan discipline.’ So, whatever the game plan is we’ve got to follow that to a ‘T.’ We show that whenever we do that we are a capable team.”
- Hawks center Clint Capela plans to return for Monday afternoon’s contest against the Heat after missing the past 10 games with an injured calf, tweets Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. Capela, who has been limited to 27 games this season, will be on a minutes restriction.