One of the most intriguing players from the 2019 draft class, 7’2″ Nuggets forward Bol Bol has only appeared in 39 games during his first two NBA seasons, but is determined to earn a larger role in 2021/22, as Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post writes. The big man said on Monday that he agrees with teammate Michael Porter Jr.‘s assessment that a “mindset change” is necessary in order for Bol to take a major step forward in his third year.
“He’s totally correct,” Bol said. “To add on to that, it’s more so consistency. It’s not just me doing it one day or two days a week. I’ve got to figure out how to put it together for a whole entire year and not just when things are going my way.”
Bol added that he views power forward as his primary position, but is willing to play anywhere the Nuggets ask him to, “one through five.”
Here’s more out of Denver:
- Although Jamal Murray is itching to get back on the court following his ACL surgery, he recognizes that he shouldn’t rush the process and made it clear that he doesn’t plan to, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post details. “I want to feel good when I come back,” Murray said. “I don’t want to come back when I’m like 85%, whatever, no matter where the team’s at. I want to come back when it feels like I can play with the same amount of force that I normally play with.” For their part, the Nuggets are on board with that plan. “He’ll come back when he’s ready, not when we tell him, not a date on the calendar,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said.
- The Nuggets haven’t really been linked to Ben Simmons this offseason, but for what it’s worth, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Singer that there’s no chance Denver would move Murray in a deal for the Sixers star.
- Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a look at why the Nuggets felt comfortable making such a significant investment in Michael Porter Jr., arguing that it’s a calculated and necessary risk for the franchise. As Vecenie points out, given the weak 2022 free agent class, Porter might’ve ended up being the best player on the open market next year if he hadn’t received an extension now. Denver would’ve been able to match any offer sheet in that scenario, but a rival team could’ve put a player option and a trade kicker into its offer — the Nuggets instead got a partial guarantee on the final year of Porter’s extension.
- Nuggets head coach Michael Malone admitted on Monday that his roster isn’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Fredrickson. Malone said that he’d love the team’s vaccination rate to be at 100%, but can only do so much to push players in that direction. “All we can do is try to help educate the players that have chosen to be unvaccinated to this point,” Malone said. “Maybe at some point, they realize what’s at stake and they make that decision to get vaccinated. Until then, we’ll keep on trying for sure.”
- In case you missed it, the Nuggets officially completed Aaron Gordon‘s four-year extension on Monday. Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) provides the financial breakdown of the deal, which looks about like we expected, albeit with a slightly lower fourth-year player option salary and slightly more unlikely incentives.