Going into this season, the casual NBA fan would assume that the 2023-24 Phoenix Suns would have depth issues. Yet, the Suns have plenty of players on their bench that can have a huge impact. However, if we are pointing out an X-factor for this team, it could be Bol Bol because we are still determining what we will get with him.
But what we do know is that Bol Bol is extremely talented. He can do a little bit of everything with a size that you can’t teach. Bol Bol could be the perfect role player for this year’s squad.
Let’s get into some of the things he brings to the team.
The first strength that comes to mind is his length, where you can’t teach how he knows how to use it. Bol Bol has a 7’8″ wingspan, which is almost unheard of. But, like we said, it’s all about the things he does with his length that amaze you.
The first thing that stands out on the tape is his uncanny ability to get a paint touch at will in almost every drive he has. Most players would get cut off by some sort of help defense or even a great on-ball defender, but Bol Bol’s length allows him to cover a lot of ground.
He can get into the paint at will, often with just one step, sometimes two. Why is getting a paint touch important? Well, it causes most defenses to collapse and help when they really aren’t supposed to, which will then bring players open on the wings.
With the shot makers the Suns have, that’s very important. Getting that paint touch is also important because when Bol Bol is in the paint, he is nearly an arm’s length away from the rim, which makes it far easier to finish at the rim than it would any other player.
His finishing ability is great because of his length. He won’t miss the layup or dunk when he has the room to get as close as he wants. However, when there is contact, it’s not the same story.
Bol Bol is also a great defender in certain circumstances. He seems to play the passing lanes well, or maybe it just looks good because of the ground he covers on pass attempts, and maybe some passers do not expect him to gamble for the ball.
Either way, his ability to recover after a gamble is good for someone his size, which always comes back to the length. Bol Bol is a wing player, definitely not a five-man or even a four when playing defense. However, his defense is better when offensive players are in front of him, as crazy as that sounds. Then he can’t use his length to contest the shot better.
He does a great job of playing help defense.
The 7’2″ wing player can be a great piece to have if you want to spread the floor because he can catch and shoot at a decent rate. It needs some work because he’d rather create his own shot, but he can do it, especially in the corner. And when he does catch a swing pass, he is great at making a split decision on whether to attack or do something else.
Those are the good things we expect to see out of Bol Bol, but there are easily some bad, too.