One of the bright spots on Philadelphia’s Summer League team will have to ply his trade overseas next season, at least for one more year. Jonah Bolden will reportedly stay in Europe next year, according to a new report from European expert David Pick.
Source: Sixers grant Maccabi their blessing to stash Adriatic League superstar Jonah Bolden. Tel Aviv, Red Star negotiate his release.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 17, 2017
Though this represents a minor disappointment for Sixers fans—many of whom were excited about the energy and athleticism Bolden showed during Summer League—the move to Tel Aviv is a positive step for his career in the interim.
Red Star has fallen on hard times as a club financially, requesting fans donate money to help keep them in business, so at the very least this guarantees the checks will keep coming. The team’s entire starting lineup and head coach departed this offseason, creating a lot of uncertainty in a Serbian club that didn’t need any more of it.
The reported move will also give Bolden a chance to play alongside some talent that is closer to NBA caliber than he had around him at Red Star. Former future Sixers great Pierre Jackson will be part of the wrecking crew in Tel Aviv this season, and Bolden will play at least one season getting reps in the competitive Euroleague.
Ultimately, this is probably a blessing in disguise for the Sixers. While it would be nice to have Bolden in the fold and working with the team’s staff, they still have a crowded frontcourt, and could use the extra minutes to figure out the long-term roles for the guys they have in place. He’ll get to continue sharpening his skills in a professional environment, and Philadelphia will be better equipped to take him on next season.