The Philadelphia 76ers drafted former UCLA PF Jonah Bolden with the 36th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bolden played one year at UCLA before turning pro and playing in Serbia. Bolden thinks he will be able to come over from Serbia and play for the Sixers this upcoming year. Many experts believe that had Bolden stayed another year at UCLA, and played with Lonzo Ball, he would’ve been a first-round pick.
Bolden committed to play at UCLA, but had to sit out a season because of academic issues. In the 2015-16 season at UCLA, he averaged 22 minutes per game, but lacked a lot of confidence and struggled to make an impact for the Bruins. Bolden didn’t want to sit out another year to transfer, so he decided to turn pro for a year. Bolden averaged 12.9 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game in his one year playing with FMP Zeleznik in Serbia.
One thing that Bolden brings to the 76ers is his great size. He is 6’10” with a 7’3″ wingspan (unofficially). He finished a lot of alley oops in Serbia, and has very high jumps. Bolden is also very agile for a player his size.
Another thing that Bolden brings the Sixers is a diverse offensive game. Bolden has a very fluid three-point shot and was shooting the three at 40.3% this past season. He also shot 40% on pull up shots this past year. Bolden also has very quick feet and is able to blow by the bigger defenders that are guarding him.
Bolden also brings a lot of defensive versatility to the Sixers. He has the tools to be able to guard smaller and quicker guys out on the perimeter. Bolden also has very good length which helps him force a lot of turnovers. Unfortunately, sometimes on defense the effort just isn’t there for Bolden.
Bolden fits nicely into the modern-day NBA. He is a stretch forward who can play inside-outside. He’ll also fit in well to the 76ers young core of Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. The Aussie has the chance to become a big presence off the bench for the 76ers in years to come.