Fantasy Basketball Injury Analysis: Bol Bol

4 min read

There is a lot for fantasy GMs to unpack when a player is injured. We need to not only understand the severity of the injury, how long they might be out, but also restrictions in their play once they return. For dynasty GMs, we need to understand how this injury may affect them long term.

We are lucky to have, Dr. Rajpal Brar on board and providing injury analysis with his medical expertise. This video is concerning University of Oregon Center Bol Bol and his left foot navicular stress fracture. Take a look.

Initial Notes

Son of 7 foot 7 NBA player Manute Bol, Bol Bol is a big and lanky stretch 5 that has shown flashes of immense potential. He also provides older NBA fans the nostalgia of seeing Manute’s son out on the court. It gets lost amongst the Gheorge Muresans and Shawn Bradley’s, that the elder Bol was a pretty skilled player that was capable of launching it from deep way before most bigs ever thought to do so.

Though he rarely put that skill to use. He somehow became the only player in the NBA to average more blocks than points. Over the course of his career, Manute tied for the NBA record for the most blocked shots in one half (11) and in one quarter (eight, twice).

It sounds like Bol’s injury is pretty common, especially among basketball players. To nerd out on the anatomy side of this, it was really interesting to learn more about the navicular bone and how it’s considered the keystone of the foot’s arch. The 8-10 week timeline sounds quicker than average, possibly due to the bone graft, which according to Dr. Brar, should speed up the recovery. This would put him in a good place heading into the combine and pre-draft workouts. There, NBA teams will be able to give him a closer look and determine if this was a one-time occurrence or a possible red flag.

You might be trying to remember where you heard of this injury before. Realizing this was what happened in consecutive years to Embiid to start his career is concerning. Knowing that that was a rare case helps provide relief. At the same time, you never want to hear about the possibility of faulty bio-mechanics. Guys over 7 feet that can’t run properly will not hold up in the NBA very well. Hopefully, that is not the case.

Moving Forward

Bol projects well into the modern NBA game, bringing a unique skillset that definitely brings him into Unicorn status. He’s not as tall as his dad, but he’s also not rail-thin (250 lbs). Manute’s lack of weight made it hard for him to stay on the court during the era of bruising bigs.

His handles and shot are surprisingly tight, and his defensive potential is obvious. According to our own Prospect Expert Jay:

I’ll say that he’s a risky pick in the Top 5 of Dynasty drafts but it could be very well worth it. With the widest range of outcomes out of every popular early-lottery talent, Bol has the ceiling of a prime Porzingis, but the floor of a Thon Maker. He’s the epitome of high-risk, high reward.

– Jay Taaffe

Long Term Outlook

I tend to agree with Jay’s analysis, and his floor and ceiling comps help provide a clear picture of what he could become. The injury certainly brings a level of uncertainty into the picture that has to give GMs pause. Fortunately he should be all healed up by the time team doctors get their hands on his foot. The fact that this was a newer procedure that involved screws and a bone graph makes me feel more secure about his prospects. We can also look at Embiid and his dominant play as a good sign for recovery.

Hopefully he’s given a clean bill of health and his running motions are analyzed and given the thumbs up. Then I will side more along the optimistic lines of the Porzingis comp for Bol. He projects so well with his size, skillset, and familial line that he will be too good to pass up outside of the top 5 in the NBA draft, as well as dynasty rookie drafts. Once adjusted to the NBA game, he has the potential to be a triple one player. He could also average a double-double with good percentages and assists. My fingers are crossed for Bol.