Bol Bol

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.

Magic’s Bol Bol Out For Remainder Of Season

Bol Bol, who was acquired from the Celtics at the trade deadline, won’t play for the Magic this season, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman made the announcement Tuesday morning regarding Bol, who underwent foot surgery in January. He played just 14 games this season, all with the Nuggets before being dealt to Boston, and averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per night.

“Bol’s working very hard,” 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.”

Bol, 22, was an intriguing gamble when he was selected with the 44th pick in the 2019 draft. At 7’2″ and 220 pounds, he has offensive skills that are uncommon in a big man, but his wiry frame makes it tough for him to fit into a natural position.

He spent two and a half seasons in Denver, but only appeared in 53 total games and played an average of 6.2 minutes per night.

Bol will be a free agent this summer, and the Magic can make him restricted by submitting a $2.7MM qualifying offer.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Bol, Harris, Hawks, Oubre

According to president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, the Magic‘s relatively quiet deadline wasn’t for lack of trying.

“We’re always aggressive, but sometimes aggressiveness doesn’t equal activity,” he said, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

In their lone move, the Magic acquired PJ Dozier and Bol Bol from Boston. They’ve already waived Dozier, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. Bol is recovering from foot surgery and may not be back this season either, but Weltman said the team is intrigued by the young big man and has yet to make a decision on him.

“We’ll have to get our people to get to know him and understand his situation,” Weltman said. “It’s around that timeline — about the end of the season — but I’m really not sure. When we get back from the trip, we’ll get him in here and get an understanding of what he’s dealing with and how far along he is.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Magic wing Gary Harris isn’t a lock to be bought out in the coming days or weeks, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. As a veteran on a rebuilding team with a big contract, Harris is a logical buyout candidate, but Smith hears that the team likes how he has helped its young guards. Orlando is also dealing with some injuries in the backcourt.
  • Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk wasn’t eager to shake up his roster after seeing how well the team has played since the Cam Reddish trade, he said on Friday. “Our last 12 games, we’re 9-3, so we feel good about the impact that (trade) had,” Schlenk said (Twitter links via Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “Kind of have a set rotation now of guys, kind of know their roles. We looked at a lot of different stuff, but we’re comfortable with this group.” Schlenk added that the Hawks made a strong second half run last season: “We want to give them that opportunity to prove it to the world they can do it again.”
  • The Hawks have an open spot on their 15-man roster following the trade deadline, but aren’t targeting any specific types of players, according to Schlenk, who said the priority will be not to mess with the team’s chemistry. “We’ll look to see who’s out there, whether we look at young guys to bring in on 10-days, or whether there’s a veteran that becomes available that we feel like would fit in,” he said, per Spencer (Twitter link).
  • Hornets forward Kelly Oubre was fined $15K on Wednesday for violating league rules prohibiting the use of profane language directed toward the spectator stands, the league announced (via Twitter). The incident in question took place in Charlotte during the second quarter of Monday’s game vs. Toronto.

Celtics Trade Bol Bol, PJ Dozier To Magic

1:16pm: The deal is official, according to a press release from the Magic. As expected, the team has waived Moore and Carter-Williams.


1:00pm: The Magic will acquire the Celtics’ 2028 second-round pick (top-45 protected) in the deal, while Boston will get the Magic’s 2023 second-rounder (top-55 protected), reports Price (via Twitter).


12:12pm: The Magic will waive veteran guard E’Twaun Moore as part of the deal, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Orlando is also cutting Michael Carter-Williams, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Both players have been out all season due to injuries.

Brian Robb of MassLive.com confirms (via Twitter) that the second-round pick headed to Boston in the deal will be heavily protected and likely won’t convey.


11:34am: The Celtics have reached an agreement to trade injured players Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to the Magic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). It’s a cost-cutting move for the Celtics, who will dip below the luxury tax line as a result of the deal.

Boston is sending a second-round pick and cash to Orlando and will get a second-round pick in return, Wojnarowski reports. I’d expect the second-rounder headed to the Celtics to be heavily protected, but we’ll await further details.

Bol and Dozier were sent from Denver to Boston earlier this season in a three-team trade, but neither player was part of the Celtics’ short- or long-term plans. Bol underwent foot surgery that is expected to sideline him for most or all of the season, while Dozier is recovering from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL and won’t play until 2022/23.

Both players are on expiring deals, with Bol earning $2.2MM this season and Dozier making $1.9MM. Orlando will acquire both players using trade exceptions, while Boston will create a pair of new trade exceptions equivalent to their salaries.

The Celtics now have a pair of open roster spots and will remain out of tax territory even in the unlikely event that Jaylen Brown is named an All-Star replacement and earns a bonus. As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the C’s would’ve had a small tax bill of about $2MM if they hadn’t made a move, but they’re now in line to receive a potential eight-figure payout.

While Boston doesn’t have to make any more moves today, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) hears that there are still three or four teams in the mix for Dennis Schröder, with one source estimating there’s a 50/50 chance of a deal.

The Magic have a full 15-man roster, so they’ll have to make at least one more move in order to accommodate the incoming players.

Celtics Notes: Bol, Hernangomez, Richardson, Hayward

Bol Bol might not play for the Celtics this season, but the newly-acquired power forward could have a future with the team, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. The three-team trade that sent Bol and PJ Dozier from Denver to Boston was finalized today just before coach Ime Udoka’s pre-game meeting with reporters, giving him a chance to discuss how the organization views Bol.

“He’s an intriguing young player,” Udoka said. “I’ve seen him quite a bit at Oregon before he got hurt there playing with Payton (Pritchard). Know about him, intriguing guy who can do a lot of things obviously and he’s a guy that’s a restricted free agent, so we can retain his rights and get a good look at him over the next few months.”

The Nuggets were seeking a taker for the 7’2″ Bol, who seemed headed to Detroit last week before the Pistons reneged on a trade due to medical reasons. Bol had surgery on his right foot Tuesday and is expected to miss eight-to-12 weeks weeks, so the best-case scenario would have him return during the final month of the regular season.

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics parted with Juancho Hernangomez in the trade, mainly for financial reasons as the team tries to get below the luxury tax threshold. Although Hernangomez wasn’t able to earn a spot in the rotation after being acquired in an offseason deal, Udoka said he handled the situation professionally, Terada adds. “I love his approach, the work he continued to put in and him being professional in cheering on the guys,” Udoka said. “I think it’s a tough situation and one of the toughest as coaches is finding minutes for everybody and honestly, it was … nothing that he didn’t do.”
  • Brad Stevens will approach his first trade deadline as president of basketball operations with several team-friendly contracts that should be easy to move, notes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. With the Celtics expected to be among the most active teams at the deadline, there may be some uneasiness in the locker room over the next three weeks, but Josh Richardson tells his younger teammates that it’s nothing to worry about. “I’ve been traded a few times, so you just kind of learn how to live with it at that point,” he said. “It might be scary for some guys who have never been through it, but for us veterans who have been moved we know it’s a business and just try to keep the other guys engaged on what’s important and that’s winning games.”
  • With tonight marking his first game in Boston since signing with the Hornets, Gordon Hayward talks to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated about his memories of the city and why he decided to move on.

Bryn Forbes Traded To Nuggets In Three-Team Deal

JANUARY 19: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Nuggets. As we relayed earlier today, the 2028 second-round pick acquired by the Spurs is top-33 protected, and San Antonio also received cash from both Boston ($2.15MM) and Denver ($200K).


JANUARY 18: Shooting guard Bryn Forbes is headed from the Spurs to the Nuggets as the headliner of a three-team deal that also involves the Celtics, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Forbes will once again join a playoff team, while Boston power forward Juancho Hernangomez and Denver’s 2028 second-round pick are heading to San Antonio. Two injured players, Nuggets power forward Bol Bol and guard PJ Dozier, will be sent to the Celtics.

As Woj details, the Nuggets, who at 22-20 are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, had been looking to acquire a wing to improve their bench scoring. Forbes, averaging 9.1 PPG on .432/.417/.898 shooting, fits the bill. The Nuggets had been linked to the veteran sharpshooter as a trade target as recently as yesterday.

Denver has been hit hard by injuries this season, so moving a pair of players who are expected to be sidelined for most or all of the season will help improve the team’s depth and will open up a spot on the team’s 15-man roster. A report over a week ago stated that the Nuggets were expected to add free agent center DeMarcus Cousins on a 10-day contract. That deal has yet to materialize, but Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets that there’s still mutual interest between the two sides.

The Nuggets tried to trade Bol to the Pistons last week, only to see the deal rescinded when he failed his team physical. Bol subsequently went under the knife for a foot surgery this week and is expected to miss at least eight-to-12 weeks of game action. Dozier will be out for the rest of the 2021/22 NBA season as he continues to recover from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL.

Wojnarowski reports that, at least at present, the Celtics intend to retain both Dozier and Bol through this season’s trade deadline. Bol could return by March or April and the C’s would have both players’ Bird rights in the offseason — Bol will be eligible for restricted free agency and Dozier will be unrestricted. Those plans could change if Boston needs to open up a roster spot in the coming weeks or months.

Hernangomez failed to crack the 23-22 Celtics’ rotation this season, averaging 1.1 PPG and 1.4 RPG across 5.3 MPG in just 18 contests. As Woj writes, by getting off Hernangomez’s $7MM salary and taking back Bol ($2.2MM) and Dozier ($1.9MM), Boston gets that much closer to ducking the NBA’s punitive luxury tax.

The Celtics won’t need to waive a player to accommodate their one-for-two trade, since they already had an open spot on their 15-man roster.

San Antonio’s decision to acquire a future draft pick and Hernangomez’s pseudo-expiring contract (next season’s salary is non-guaranteed) in exchange for Forbes, a role player on the 2021 championship-winning Bucks, could signal that the team has accepted it should be in asset-accrual mode in the weeks leading up to the league’s trade deadline.

The return for Forbes is modest, but that’s not a major surprise. While he’s a terrific shooter, Forbes is limited on the defensive end and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He also fell out of Milwaukee’s rotation during the NBA Finals last spring.

Northwest Notes: McCollum, Nuggets, Thunder, Nowell

Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum saw his first on-court action in over six weeks on Monday, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. Having recovered from a collapsed lung suffered on December 4, McCollum chipped in 16 points during 28 minutes of action in his first game back with Portland, helping the team secure a 98-88 victory over the Magic.

“I think this is probably the most happy and at peace I’ve ever been in my life,” the 30-year-old McCollum said, noting that his outlook has shifted following the birth of his first child earlier this month. “I’ve always had a purpose before, but now I really, truly have a real purpose in my life, which is to be a good man and try to raise my son to the best of my abilities.”

In 25 games this season, McCollum is averaging 20.4 PPG, 4.4 APG and 4.0 RPG. His return to the court for the Trail Blazers arrives at a crucial time, as his backcourt mate Damian Lillard underwent surgery to address an abdominal strain last week and is scheduled to miss at least five or six weeks of action.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets head coach Michael Malone discussed the recent right foot surgery of forward Bol Bol and the team’s plans for the NBA trade deadline, writes Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Malone revealed that Bol ultimately opted for the surgery after his trade to the Pistons was scuttled due to medical concerns. “Bol, his representation, once that trade was rescinded because of the failed physical, they felt that it was in his best interest to have the surgery and to address why that physical was failed,” Malone said. The Nuggets’ head coach also acknowledged that the team’s issues with injuries and COVID-19 have impacted the front office’s ability to discern exactly where to make upgrades via trade.
  • The Thunder front office hopes to be install a culture of winning habits despite the team’s less-than-stellar record, writes Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman“You can’t put players in bubble wrap and not expose them to the tough stuff,” said Oklahoma City team president Sam Presti.
  • Timberwolves third-year shooting guard Jaylen Nowell points to his time logged learning from game tape with his improvement on the floor, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. “I’m putting more work in off the court as far as watching film damn near every single game, for real,” Nowell said. “I don’t look at it as, ‘Oh this is fun.’ I’m looking more at how guys are getting open, our defensive schemes. I’m watching every team way harder.” Nowell is averaging 7.9 PPG, 2.0 APG and 1.9 RPG with Minnesota this season.

Nuggets’ Bol Undergoes Surgery On Foot, Out 8-12 Weeks

5:08pm: The Nuggets confirmed that Bol has undergone surgery on his right foot (Twitter link). The team didn’t provide an exact timeline for his recovery, announcing that he’ll be out indefinitely.


12:34pm: Nuggets forward Bol Bol will undergo foot surgery and will miss 8-to-12 weeks, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The operation will be on his right foot, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Bol had surgery on his left foot when he played at Oregon.

The news comes less than a week after the Pistons pulled out of a trade for Bol because their team doctors refused to give him medical clearance. He hasn’t appeared in a game since January 5, but that could be related to falling out of the rotation as well as his medical condition.

Bol, 22, has shown flashes of promise since being selected with the 44th pick in the 2019 draft, but he’s in the middle of a disappointing third season, appearing in just 14 games and averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per night.

He will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer if Denver makes a qualifying offer.

Bol Bol Trade To Pistons Voided

12:39pm: The Pistons announced that the trade was rescinded because “medical clearance was not received for all players involved,” tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic.


11:13am: The Pistons have reneged on a trade that would have would have sent Rodney McGruder and a second-round pick to the Nuggets in exchange for Bol Bol, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Detroit cited an issue with Bol’s physical, Singer adds. He notes that Bol had foot surgery during college, but hasn’t experienced any injury problems during his three seasons in the NBA. Denver was surprised by the Pistons’ decision, according to Singer (Twitter link).

The 22-year-old Bol is an intriguing talent but hasn’t been able to firmly establish himself at any position in Denver. Other big men had moved ahead of him in the rotation, and the Nuggets are seeking veteran help for a playoff run. It’s not clear if Denver will try to work out another trade for Bol, who has a $2.15MM expiring contract.

Central Notes: Williams, Bol, Cavs, Warren, Stephenson

Bulls forward Patrick Williams has replaced the cast on his left arm with a removable brace, head coach Billy Donovan told Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago and other media members. Williams’ rehab from wrist surgery will now focus on rebuilding strength and regaining range of motion in the injured wrist and forearm. His timetable was initially projected to be four-to-six months after he underwent the surgery in late October.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The trade that sent Bol Bol from Denver to the Pistons is now official. According to the Detroit Free Press’ Omari Sankofa II, Bol could be an intriguing pickup for a team in need of a young big. He’s got enough talent to become a core piece for the organization, so he was worth taking a flier on before he heads into free agency this summer, Sankofa adds.
  • The Cavaliers are expected to be active in the trade market, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on NBA Today last week that he could “almost guarantee” Cleveland would make another deal beyond the acquisition of Rajon Rondo. The team is seeking perimeter and guard help and is talking to three or four different teams about scenarios, Windhorst added.
  • The Pacers are still awaiting the season debut of forward T.J. Warren and it won’t happen this week, James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star tweets. According to coach Rick Carlisle, Warren is “still weeks away, if things continue to progress as they have been.” Warren is recovering from a foot fracture.
  • Lance Stephenson‘s reunion with the Pacers has exceeded all expectations, Wheat Hotchkiss of the team’s website notes. Playing on a 10-day contract that expires tonight, Stephenson had a 30-point game and a 14-assist outing. Stephenson is expected to sign a standard rest-of-the-season contract.