The Orlando Magic may be in mired in a lengthy rebuild, but they’re as well positioned as any team for the future given their plethora of high-potential young prospects. Paolo Banchero remains the crown jewel of their rebuilding efforts, while Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and Jalen Suggs round out what should be a strong foundation for years to come. However, much to the surprise of many, one man has managed to carve out a solid role from the fringes: Bol Bol, a 7’2 center who has the skillset of a guard.
In fact, Bol is playing at such a high level that many couldn’t help but gush over the 23-year old’s unique game. Paolo Banchero even went as far as to say that before the Victor Wembanyama hype train left the station, Bol had already showed flashes of the skillset that makes the 7’4 Frenchman perhaps the most-coveted draft prospect ever.
“Everyone talks about the Victor dude from France. I’m not trying to compare them, but Bol’s 7-foot-2, shoots threes, brings it up the court, makes passes, and blocks shots. I feel like people kind of forget about him, but Bol’s a freak of nature,” Banchero told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“He’s ultra-talented at 7-foot-2, can shoot pull-up threes, and block shots all around the court. He moves like a 6-foot-5 shooting guard. It’s crazy.”
Bol found himself stuck on the Denver Nuggets bench for three seasons, and the Magic didn’t even give him minutes when the team acquired him last February. To begin the 2022-23 season, Bol only played a 20-minute role off the Magic bench, but he impressed the coaching staff enough with his shot-blocking and shot-making in limited minutes that he was the one who ended up getting the starting nod following Cole Anthony’s oblique injury. And the Sudanese international hasn’t looked back since.
Nevertheless, Paolo Banchero isn’t the least bit surprised that Bol is playing at such a high level.
“I don’t think any of us have been surprised by him. He was highly touted coming out of high school, and in the games he played in college, he dominated. He’s been capable his whole life. From the first day I got on the court with him in the summer, it was obvious. I was like, ‘I don’t know how this guy hasn’t been playing,'” Banchero added.
With the Magic posting a dreadful 5-16 record to begin the season, they might be in as good a position as any team to draft Victor Wembanyama. Imagine a Bol-Wembanyama combo? That is the stuff of dreams.