Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo spoke at length about the 208-centimetre forward during his exit press conference early on Saturday morning [Australian time] and listed Bolden as the “most likely” of the club’s overseas based draft picks to play next season.
Colangelo said Bolden has an NBA out in his contract with Maccabi and discussions were under way about coming to the team.
The Sixers will probably have two first round picks (likely pick 10 or 11 and pick 26) in next month’s NBA Draft, Colangelo spoke highly of Bolden’s progress.
“The one is most likely to join the team is Jonah Bolden and that’s being discussed right now,” Colangelo said.
“He has an NBA option to come if it works out favourably for him and us but the team [Maccabi] has his rights going for next year in the event that he doesn’t take advantage of his opt-out.”
Bolden’s athleticism and shooting has excited the Sixers and he shapes as a strong prospect to push for the Australian Boomers team for next year’s FIBA World Cup in China and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Sixers used Croatian forward Dario Saric and Turkish forward Ersan Ilyasova as their “stretch fours” this past season but Illyasova is a free agent and the team could face a squeeze for salary cap room as they look to chase free agents like James.
So Bolden could possibly fill his place and take a smaller chunk of the cap in the process.
“I’m excited about what he brings to the table, he is a modern day big who can play multiple positions, can guard multiple positions and he can step out and shoot the three,” Colangelo said.
“His shooting numbers have gone down a little bit this year but we don’t believe that’s an indication of who he is as a player or a shooter.
“He is a grab and go guy, he can rebound the ball instinctively, handle in transition and although you don’t want to put him in that position every day, he is a grab and go guy.
“He’s very athletic, long and as per his coach and general manager in Maccabi, they say he has some of the best hands defensively that they have ever seen.
“We talk all the time about putting rangy lineups on the court, about defence being number one thing we talk about all the time, defence, pace and space and he fits pretty much every one of those categories as a modern day big.”