NBA Draft 2019: Bol Bol aims to ‘prove everybody wrong’ after fall from first round

Bol Bol, once projected as a potential lottery pick, wants to make it his mission to “prove everybody wrong” after falling midway through the second round in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

Bol said he was expecting to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round, but he instead went No. 44 to the Heat, who then traded him to the Nuggets for a future second-round pick and cash considerations. 

Denver president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said he wasn’t concerned that Bol plummeted in the draft, adding: “We feel very fortunate that he fell.”

“We thought we were going to get a guy that was greatly undervalued as the night progressed,” Connelly said (per The Denver Post). “Who knows where we’ll be picking in the future, but when you get a guy with the tools like Bol Bol, it’s hard not to be aggressive. And it’s hard not to be excited.”

One reason for Bol’s fall could be because teams were questioning the 7-2 center’s health, according to ESPN. Bol played just nine games for Oregon this past season before suffering an ankle injury in mid-December. He later had a stress fracture in his foot, forcing him to be sidelined indefinitely and his season ended early. 

“My foot is 100 percent healed. I just recently started getting back on the court like a month ago, and I’ve slowly just been doing workouts,” Bol said. “My plan is hopefully play this season, but it’s up to my team if they want to just focus on me getting stronger.”

Bol, the first son of former 7-7 NBA center Manute Bol of Sudan, became known for his size and ball handling during his lone season with Oregon where he averaged 21 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 29.8 minutes per game.