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Victor Oladipo, Pacers

Bol Bol could be another treasure in the Nuggets’ trove

The NBA is back. Well, sort of.

Exhibition games began on Wednesday ahead of the scheduled restart in Orlando, with the Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards squaring off in the first contest.

The Nuggets are currently trying to chase down the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and it would seem they would use this game as something of a feeler.

Only, Denver had some wrinkles in store — like starting center Nikola Jokic at point guard.

In fact, the Nuggets’ starting lineup was entirely made up of frontcourt players, including one notable player making his season debut: Bol Bol.

For those who might have forgotten, Bol was widely regarded as a potential lottery pick in last summer’s NBA draft. However, he had a precipitous fall, with the Nuggets getting him at 44th overall.

Bol had a foot injury which prematurely ended his freshman campaign at Oregon, and this same malady had kept him out the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign.

Little did the fans know what Bol had in store on Wednesday.

Full skill set on display

Interestingly enough, Bol would seem to fit in well with Denver’s starting personnel. After all, Jokic is one of the best passing bigs in years, Jerami Grant can run the floor, and Mason Plumlee is another athlete at the five spot.

Indeed, Bol showcased his wide array of skills. One of the most memorable plays of the game came when Bol recorded a block on one end and subsequently dribbled the length of the floor for a walk-in triple at the other end.

In fact, the springy Oregon product looked as healthy and agile as ever. His combination of length and athleticism makes it possible for him to make plays like this:

Bol also ran the floor at will, even looking to be a playmaker in the open floor.

Aside from getting out in transition, Bol looked just as comfortable lurking on the perimeter and spotting up for an open jumper.

Bol made 13-of-25 threes at Oregon, but his jumper looks like it has an even higher release point there, rather than the sort of “load up” motion he had in college.

The 20-year-old has a huge ceiling given he is a 7-footer capable of shooting threes and handling the ball in transition. Consider this tidbit from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:

As Bontemps suggested, it seems unlikely Bol will get a ton of run in Orlando. Nonetheless, Bol could change the complexion of the team’s future.

Frontcourt dreams

The Nuggets face tough decisions in the offseason with Paul Millsap entering free agency and Jerami Grant likely to decline his player option.

But Denver might have more flexibility to pick-and-choose, if Bol’s debut is any indication.

The Nuggets already have Michael Porter Jr. in tow. Bol is another guy who fits the roster given his ability to play like a guard and be a deterrent at the rim.

Whereas Denver previously had a plethora of backcourt assets, Bol could give them one of the more intriguing frontcourt groups in the league for years to come. If he can stay healthy, of course.