Bol Bol

Southeast Notes: Bogdanovic, Bol, Wizards, Richards

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic is expected to return to action and make his season debut within “the next few games,” general manager Landry Fields said this morning on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta (Twitter link via Mike Conti).

Bogdanovic has spent the last several months recovering after having undergone knee surgery in May. Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted over the weekend that the 30-year-old was getting some five-on-five work in with a combination of teammates and player development coaches, a sign that he was moving closer to a return.

The Hawks are in Orlando on Wednesday before returning to Atlanta for a brief homestand against the Nuggets on Friday and the Thunder on Monday. We’ll have to wait for further updates from the team to see if Bogdanovic is ready to play in either of those games.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Once considered a potential lottery pick, Bol Bol fell to No. 44 in the 2019 draft due to health concerns, and injuries limited him to 53 games in his first three NBA seasons. But the Magic big man is showing this season that he was worth the hype and worth the wait, writes Damian Burchardt of The Ringer. As Michael Scotto of HoopsHype details, Bol is drawing rave reviews from teammates (Paolo Banchero) and opponents (Kevin Durant) alike, having boosted his averages to 13.5 PPG and 7.9 RPG on .601/.419/.767 shooting through 21 games (27.1 MPG) this season.
  • The Wizards, 11-10 so far this season, have been a “quintessentially average NBA team,” according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who says Washington has shown intriguing promise but still has its share of flaws. According to Kristaps Porzingis, it’s important that the club doesn’t let its focus wane during games. “If we want to be a top-five, top-six team (in the East), then we have to be on at all times,” he said. “We cannot let some of these games slip. But we’ll get there. We’ll get there.”
  • After playing just 430 total minutes in his first two NBA seasons, Hornets big man Nick Richards is already on the verge of surpassing that number in year three, having logged 413 minutes in his first 21 games. While he has shown this fall that he deserves a rotation spot, Richards doesn’t blame the Hornets for being patient with him, as he tells Spencer Davies of “Honestly I feel like the first two years were really good, were really more important years for me,” he said. “I sat back and learned from my vets that are in front of me. Just watched them and how they play on the floor, and just try to duplicate that.”

Southeast Notes: Carter Jr., Cain, Heat Arena, Bol

Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. said that he’d been dealing with right plantar fascia for a few weeks before it sidelined him, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets.

“There’s really no specific thing you can put on it to stop it from hurting,” he said. “It’s just about tolerance, putting heat on it and stuff like that.”

Carter, who is averaging 16.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists, has missed three of the last four games.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Jamal Cain, one of the Heat‘s two-way players, says that being a 23-year-old rookie makes him better prepared for the ups and downs of his pro career than a younger newcomer, he told Spencer Davies of Basketball News in a lengthy feature. “When you’re young, you want everything to come so fast, you want everything to be perfect,” Cain said. “But after going through college and going through those ups and downs and realizing that my journey is going to be tough… it’s not going to be all perfect.” Cain has appeared in five games with Miami this season.
  • Miami-Dade County has filed a motion in federal court to immediately terminate the FTX Arena naming rights agreement, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. The Heat and Miami-Dade County chose to sever ties with cryptocurrency giant FTX after the company filed for bankruptcy.
  • Bol Bol is making a bid for the league’s Most Improved Player award and he believes that improved health has led to his breakout season, Andrew Lopez of ESPN writes. The Magic big man is averaging 13.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. “Now that I’ve been healthy,” Bol said, “I feel like I’ve just been getting better every single day.”

Southeast Notes: Banchero, Bol, Hachimura, Cain, Time Change

Top pick Paolo Banchero is off to a terrific start for the Magic but he might miss a game for the first time on Wednesday. He’s questionable to play against Dallas due to a left ankle sprain, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets.

Banchero is averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the 2-9 Magic, who already have a handful of players out due to injuries.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bol Bol has emerged as a candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award, Josh Cohen of the team’s website writes. The 22-year-old big man played in just 14 games for Denver last season but has seen action in all of the Magic‘s games this season, including six starts. He’s averaging 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per night. “I think there’s so much more that he can show, but the one thing that I really appreciate about him and what he’s done is he’s just accepted whatever we are asking him to do, and he does it willingly,” head coach Jamahl Mosley said. Bol, acquired from Boston last season, is on a two-year contract but his $2.2MM salary for next season is not guaranteed.
  • Rui Hachimura has looked more comfortable coming off the bench this season, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards forward contributed 16 points in 26 minutes against Charlotte on Monday. For the season, he’s shooting 46.2% from the field. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer if the team extends a qualifying offer.
  • Miami rookie Jamal Cain is on a tw0-way contract and he will have to get used to bouncing back and forth between the NBA and G League, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel details. The Heat‘s G League team is in Sioux Falls. “It tests you mentally,” Caleb Martin said. “You might be going down and playing 30-plus minutes and you might be coming up and watching the whole game. It’s just a good way to keep your mind ready.”
  • Due to tropical storm Nicole, the Magic-Mavericks game on Wednesday has been moved up to 5:30 p.m. ET, the Magic’s PR department tweets.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Butler, Young, Murray, Banchero, Bol

The Heat stumbled a little out of the gate this season, losing five of their first seven games, including three of four at home. However, star swingman Jimmy Butler was unfazed by the team’s slow start, as he told Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“We’re still going to win the championship, and I don’t care what nobody says,” Butler said before the Heat beat Golden State on Tuesday. “Count us out. We’re going to win the f—ing championship. I’m telling you. I don’t give a damn that we started 2-5.”

While the Heat didn’t have much roster turnover this offseason, Butler said the team is still “different” this year, with P.J. Tucker gone and several players taking on new roles. According to Butler, some “growing pains” are to be expected.

“Y’all will look back at this, and be like, oh man, they started 2-5 and they ended the season f—ing 77-5,” he joked.

The Heat are 2-0 since Butler spoke to Amick, beating Sacramento on Wednesday without him in the lineup — he sat out due to left hip tightness.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hawks star Trae Young was scratched in the left eye during Wednesday’s win over New York, but doesn’t think he’ll miss any time due to the injury, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN relays. “I think I’ll be able to play through it,” Young said, noting that Atlanta doesn’t play again until Saturday. “It’s more just letting the swelling go down. … I’ll probably have to wear goggles or glasses for some games, but it’ll be all right.”
  • With Young banged up, Dejounte Murray enjoyed his best game since joining the Hawks, racking up 36 points, nine assists, and five steals in a 13-point win. As Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Murray has been emerging as one of the team’s leaders despite having only played eight games with Atlanta so far.
  • In an appearance on teammate R.J. Hampton‘s podcast, Magic rookie forward Paolo Banchero said that he intends to represent Italy in international competitions, according to Orazio Cauchi of Banchero wasn’t born or raised in Italy, but is of Italian descent on his father’s side. “I’m planning to play for the Italian national team, I’m not sure when,” Banchero said. “I haven’t been out there yet, but man, the amount of love I’m getting from there it’s crazy, man. It’s crazy. I can’t wait to go to Italy.”
  • It came as a bit of a surprise when the Magic re-signed Bol Bol to a two-year contract with a guaranteed 2022/23 salary after acquiring him in what seemed to be a salary-dump deal at last season’s deadline, but the oft-injured big man has been playing and producing so far this season. Nekias Duncan of celebrates that fact and takes a closer look at the role Bol is playing in Orlando.

Southeast Notes: Oladipo, Hayward, Kispert, Bol

Heat reserve guard Victor Oladipo, still dealing with left knee tendinosis, will miss at least the first seven contests of the 2022/23 season, as he will not be joining his Miami teammates on their upcoming three-game road trip, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Miami will next play at home on November 1 against the reigning champion Warriors. Oladipo, who has undergone two knee surgeries since 2019, signed a two-year, $18.2MM deal to remain with the Heat during the 2022 offseason.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • With several Hornets players missing games due to injuries and Miles Bridges unsigned due to legal issues, Charlotte is relying heavily on Gordon Hayward, writes Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (subscription required). Through three games, the injury-prone 6’7″ veteran small forward has responded well, averaging 19.3 PPG on .550/.300/.786 shooting splits. The 32-year-old vet is also chipping in 4.7 APG and 3.3 RPG.
  • Wizards small forward Corey Kispert, still rehabilitating from a left ankle sprain, has practiced with Washington’s G League affiliate club, the Capital City Go-Go, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link). The No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft out of Gonzaga, Kispert averaged 8.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 1.1 APG across 77 games during his 2021/22 rookie campaign with Washington. The 23-year-old has yet to play for the 2-1 Wizards.
  • Magic forward/center Bol Bol is doing his darnedest to carve out a definitive role, despite limited run, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. For Orlando, the 22-year-old has appeared in 10+ minutes a night across four straight contests for the first time in his NBA career, according to Price. Bol, who boasts a 7’7″ wingspan, is averaging 10.0 PPG on 65.4% field goal shooting, along with 4.8 RPG, across 16 MPG. “It’s been very important for me because I feel like every game I’ve gotten better,” Bol said of his more consistent playing time.“I’m seeing stuff happen each game. The game’s starting to slow down the more I play.” 

Magic Notes: Fultz, Isaac, Bamba, Bol

Point guard Markelle Fultz and forward Jonathan Isaac are viewed by the Magic as cornerstone pieces, but the two former lottery picks haven’t seen much action in recent years. Fultz has appeared in just 26 games since the start of the 2020/21 season, while Isaac hasn’t played at all during that time.

There was some optimism this summer that this would finally be the year both Fultz and Isaac are back in the Magic’s lineup, but it seems that won’t happen right away. According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), Isaac is still ramping up and isn’t yet ready for group work, while Fultz – who has a fractured toe – will miss all of training camp and doesn’t yet have a timetable for his return.

It has been a long road back for Isaac in particular — he tore his ACL in 2020 and suffered a setback near the end of his recovery process earlier this year, undergoing a minor procedure in March. However, he told reporters on Monday that he’ll definitely be back on the court this season and that he aims to return sooner rather than later (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Asked on Monday about his decision to re-sign with the Magic this offseason after not receiving a qualifying offer from the team, Mohamed Bamba cited “familiarity” with the franchise as an important factor (video link via Price). “I love the direction that we’re going in as an organization,” Bamba said. “I’m really close with the coaching staff, and that’s across the board. I feel like there’s so much unfinished business here to do.”
  • Bol Bol has yet to play in a game for the Magic, having undergone foot surgery in January before being acquired by Orlando in a February trade. But he’s back on a new contract with the club and told reporters on Monday that he’s fully healthy entering the 2022/23 season (Twitter link via Price).
  • Isaac’s health and Bol’s potential contributions are among the frontcourt questions facing the Magic this season, Price writes for The Orlando Sentinel. Wendell Carter‘s continued progression at both end of the floor will also be important for Orlando as the team looks to incorporate No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, Price adds.

Contract Details: Booker, Towns, Magic, Oladipo, Anderson, Hardy

The new super-max extensions for Suns guard Devin Booker and Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns each come with a different perk.

Booker’s deal includes a 10% trade kicker, but is fully guaranteed for all four years, with no player option in 2027/28.

Towns’ new contract, conversely, doesn’t feature a trade kicker, but has a fourth-year player option, giving Towns the ability to opt out and reach free agency in 2027.

Here are several more contract details from around the NBA:

  • Both Mohamed Bamba and Bol Bol received one guaranteed season and one non-guaranteed season on their new two-year contracts with the Magic. Bamba has matching cap hits of $10.3MM on his deal, while Bol’s cap hits are $2.2MM apiece.
  • Victor Oladipo‘s reworked two-year deal with the Heat came in at $18.2MM in total. It’s worth $8.75MM in 2022/23, with a $9.45MM player option for ’23/24.
  • As previously reported, Kyle Anderson‘s two-year contract with the Timberwolves is worth exactly $18MM. It features a first-year salary of $8,780,488 and a 5% raise to $9,219,512 for 2023/24.
  • Jaden Hardy‘s three-year contract with the Mavericks is, as expected, worth the minimum in all three seasons. It’s fully guaranteed in the first two years, with a partial guarantee of $400K in year three.

Contract Details: Rubio, Bol, Dort, Boucher

The Cavaliers will use a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Ricky Rubio, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Rubio has agreed to a three-year, $18.4MM contract to return to Cleveland.

Rubio, who suffered a torn ACL in late December, finished the season with the Pacers. The Cavs’ front office explored the possibility of a sign-and-trade with the Pacers but couldn’t come to an agreement, Fedor explains.

Here are a few more contract-related notes from around the league:

  • The second year of Bol Bol‘s contract with the Magic is a team option, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. According to Spotrac, Bol Bol’s two-year deal is a minimum-salary contract worth a total of $3,968,718.
  • The unlikely bonuses in Luguentz Dort‘s contract with the Thunder are for making the All-Defensive Team and the Defensive Player of the Year award, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (video link). Those bonuses are worth $1MM annually. The five-year deal has a total base value of $82.5MM.
  • Chris Boucher‘s three-year, $35.2MM contract with the Raptors is fully guaranteed, Marks tweets. The first year of the contract is worth $12.7MM and his cap hits decline over the following two seasons.

Magic Re-Sign Bol Bol To Two-Year Contract

JULY 7: The Magic have officially re-signed Bol, per a team press release.

JULY 1: Bol Bol has agreed to a two-year deal with the Magic, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

Orlando traded for Bol in February, but he was still recovering from foot surgery and hasn’t played for the team. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman indicated after the season ended that the team was still interested in the 22-year-old big man and hoped to re-sign him.

Bol appeared in 14 games last season, all with the Nuggets, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per night. He played just 53 combined games during his two-plus years in Denver.

A second-round draft pick in 2019, Bol was an intriguing prospect because of his perimeter skills mixed with a lean 7’2″ frame. He showed flashes of talent in the G League and Summer League, but hasn’t been able to translate that into a consistent role in the NBA.

Like Mohamed Bamba, Bol is reportedly returning to the Magic despite the club not issuing him a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent earlier this week.

Southeast Notes: Young, Bol, Isaac, Unseld Jr.

Hawks guard Trae Young has adopted a new offseason routine this year, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Instead of taking his usual month off, Young was back in the gym a week after Atlanta’s loss to Miami in its first-round series. He’s undertaking a workout regimen that he plans to continue through the NBA Finals, explaining, “because that’s where I want to play.”

“I think it’s gotta be,” Young said. “It’s happened for a lot of the guys who’ve won championships and all the big-time players that’s come before me, throughout this whole league. Everybody has to go through something to push through, to get to that next step. I think this could be that thing.”

The Heat were able to rattle Young by attacking him with multiple defenders, leading to subpar numbers throughout the series. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.2 turnovers in the five games while shooting 31.9% from the field and 18.4% from three-point range.

“I think this is just a learning experience in the early chapter stage of my career that I needed to go through,” Young said. “The Heat did a great job, their defensive schemes, placement, where their guys were, switching it up, making it difficult. Just looking back at some of the mistakes I had, I know I’m going to learn from them, and it’s only going to make me better, and I think that’s a scary thing, if I’m young and I still have a lot to grow from. I think it’s a good thing that I can learn from it.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic big man Bol Bol is continuing rehab work on his injured right foot that required surgery in January, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Bol wasn’t able to play for Orlando after being acquired in a February deal, and he’ll be a free agent this summer. The Magic can make him restricted by extending a $2.7MM qualifying offer, and it sounds like the team still believes in his future. “Bol’s working very hard,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “He’s working diligently. He’s working every day. He continues to ramp up. He’s just doing individual work right now. We’re going to be careful with him as we are with everyone to make sure he doesn’t skip steps in his rehabilitation.”
  • Speaking as part of the ReAwaken America Tour, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac explained his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, per Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops“Viewing it, it seemed forced. It seemed that there was so much pressure in doing it,” Isaac said. “I don’t see the wisdom in putting something into my body that’s not going to stop me from getting the virus or transmitting it. That is why I decided to be the only player on my team to not get vaccinated.”
  • First-year coach Wes Unseld Jr. has been selected to represent the Wizards at Tuesday’s draft lottery, the team tweeted this week. Washington has a 3% chance of landing the first pick and a 13.9% chance of moving into the top four.