The Portland Trail Blazers NBA free agency period was an interesting one for the team. General manager Joe Cronin re-signed Jerami Grant and let a few free agents walk. But the big moves were drafting Scoot Henderson No. 3 overall, and the looming specter of a Damian Lillard trade. Now, with NBA free agency winding down and a handful of players still on the market, there is a Blazers free agent out there worth targeting in the bargain bin, and his name is Bol Bol.

The bargain-bin Blazers' free-agent target should be Bol Bol

The Blazers are one of the most interesting teams of the 2023 NBA offseason. Portland jumped into the top three of the NBA Draft thanks to some lucky ping pong balls and used that pick to take G League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson.

Making the pick instead of trading it for veteran help led to a Damian Lillard trade request, and now the team is navigating making a deal to send Lillard where he wants to go while still getting enough in return for the seven-time All-NBA star.

No matter what ends up happening with the trade, the Blazers are in an odd spot where they are rebuilding but still have enough talent to compete for a possible play-in spot if Henderson is as good in his first year as many think he can be.

Still, the rebuild is the first priority.

The Blazers have a young exciting backcourt with Henderson and second-year guard Shaedon Sharpe. They also have defensive-specialist Mattise Thybulle. The Dallas Mavericks signed him to a three-year, $33 million offer sheet as a restricted Blazers free agent, but Portland will reportedly match.

On the wings, the Blazers also have a solid group of players. This includes Grant, Anfernee Simons, and some young players like Nassir Little.

Where the team needs the most help is with its bigs. Currently, the only center on the roster is Jusuf Nurcic. The soon-to-be 29-year-old center is fine, but his age doesn’t fit the team’s new timeline, and he’s only played more than 60 games three times in his nine-year NBA career.

Outside of that, the team drafted Iowa forward Kris Murray at the back end of the first round this year, but he is more of a big 3-and-D wing than a rim protector or a big man.

So, the Blazers need frontcourt help, and the recently-released Bol Bol needs a team without a crowded forward/center spot and one that can give him playing time to develop his game. Bol is still just 23 years old, and the 7-foot-2 son of former NBA center Manute Bol is a fascinating prospect in the modern NBA.

Bol Bol spent his first three seasons with the Denver Nuggets and couldn’t get much playing time in the now-NBA champions’ crowded frontcourt. Last season with the Orlando Magic, he played in a career-high 70 games and played 21.5 minutes per game. He also set career marks with 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

Paolo Banchero is the Magic’s center of the future, and the team is committed to several other bigs, so Bol was the easiest player to get out from as it needed to cull its roster. Now, Bol has to clear waivers, but the Blazers could claim him or sign him in NBA free agency if he gets to that.

With the Blazers, Bol could be the team’s starting center or power forward next to Nurcic. Either way, he would offer rim protection on defense which the team desperately needs. On offense, he is a skilled player who can handle the ball and shoot. Playing with a point guard like Henderson, Bol’s game could continue to develop, and he could become a real weapon.

More than anything, Bol just needs a team to commit to him and give him playing time to see what he can do. That’s why he is a great Blazers free agent fit this offseason.

And there’s one more reason why Bol has additional value in NBA free agency this offseason. Two words: Victor Wembanyama.

Wembanyama, the 7-foot-5 Frenchman, is about to change the game. The towering player has guard skills and could become near-unguardable with the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a problem that Western Conference teams may have to deal with for years to come.

Bol Bol is one of the few players (and humans) on earth who is almost as tall as Wembanyama and can move in a similar fashion. Bol has the potential to become a player who can actually match up with the new Spurs superstar, and that could be incredibly valuable for the Blazers as they try to rebuild on the same timeline as the Spurs.