The Sixers added a lot of talent to their frontcourt this offseason. The team signed Al Horford to a 4-year deal and added Kyle O’Quinn as well. They also managed to resign Tobias Harris, James Ennis, and Mike Scott, providing even more frontcourt depth. Jonah Bolden, who showed some promise last season, suddenly finds himself on the outside of the rotation yet again.
Bolden struggled to crack Brett Brown’s rotation last year, appearing in 44 games and only playing 14.5 minutes per contest. He was on the depth chart behind Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic. This year, he finds himself buried deeper on the bench behind more talent. Bolden will have to live up to some of his potential if he wants to have a chance at cracking the 10-man rotation.
Bolden showed a lot of promise as a shot-blocker last season. He averaged 2.2 blocks per 36 minutes and had a block percentage of 4.8%. In comparison, Joel Embiid had a block percentage of 4.4%. He is still undisciplined when it comes to timing and footwork but he has the tools to become a legitimate rim protector.
Bolden also hinted that he has the ability to stretch the floor. He shot 35.4% on 2.2 attempts from behind the arc. While not a massive sample size, especially given that it was in 44 appearances, the touch is there. Improving his consistency from 3 point range could really give him a boost up the standings.
He’ll need to prove that he can be a consistent threat from deep as well as a more composed defender if he wants to give himself the best shot at having regular playing time. Beating out guys like Mike Scott and Kyle O’Quinn won’t be easy but if he can become the efficient two-way player that we saw signs of last season, he may earn himself a spot in Brett Brown’s rotation.
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