The Sixers entered the 2017 NBA draft boasting four second-round picks, and used their first one on 21-year-old power forward Jonah Bolden.
Sources: Philadelphia is selecting Jonah Bolden with the No. 36 pick in the NBA Draft.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2017
Bolden, a former top-50 recruit in one scouting service, played just his sophomore season at UCLA, averaging 4.6 PPGa 6-1 and 4.8 RPG in 31 games. Last season, Bolden suited up for KK FMP in Belgrade. With the heightened role, Bolden averaged 12.9 PPG and 7.2 RPG.
Here’s what Draft Express had to say about him.
Bolden is without a doubt a very unique talent who is coming off an outstanding season in the Adriatic League, a place where it's not easy at all to survive as a 21-year old foreigner.
His intangibles are somewhat of a concern with the background intel coming out of both UCLA and Serbia not being the most positive, but he's someone that will likely be considered an interesting bet for a team to roll the dice on in the second round to see how he can continue to develop in the D-League, possibly on a two-way contract.
It's difficult to find players with his size and length who can make shots from beyond the arc, handle the ball and also demonstrate potential defensively on the perimeter.
Bolden’s a 6-foot-10, 227-pound four that, as DraftExpress explains, has an array of skills that are becoming more en vogue. He’s more than a traditional back-to-the-basket scorer, shooting 41.9 percent from deep on 4.2 attempts per game last season.
As The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks touches on in his profile on Bolden, the new Sixers power forward’s offensive versatility should be useful.
He has deep range, a high release point, and the ability to catch and fire quickly, so he opens up a lot of space on the floor for his teammates. What makes Bolden unique is that he’s a stretch 4 who also has the athleticism of a rim-running 5.
With position versatility becoming a valuable commodity in the current NBA, Bolden has potential to be a four or small-ball five in some lineups. Defensively, Bolden appears to be multifaceted in that department as well.
Tjarks acknowledged that Bolden’s ability to hound the opposition and block the rim is invaluable. Also, Bolden’s upside as a big who’s mobile and can switch on screens is just gravy.
Contractually, Bolden signed a three-year deal with KK Crvena Zvezda then was loaned to KK FMP, per Tjarks. However, there’s hope of Bolden debuting this season for Philadelphia.
Asked Jonah Bolden about his contract situation. He says he plans on playing in the NBA next year. Also dropped a Trust The Process.— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) June 23, 2017
He’s one of us already. Bolden should be a member of this year’s Summer Sixers, alongside phenom Markelle Fultz, and could parlay that into a meaningful NBA contract.