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Aussies in NBA: Philadelphia 76ers reconsidering options with Jonah Bolden
We might actually see Jonah Bolden in a 76ers jersey, when the NBA 2017/18 season begins.
The NBL's Tommy Greer spoke with 76ers head coach Brett Brown at the Las Vegas Summer League, and it seems like Bolden isn't necessarily a dead lock for Serbia next season.
Brown spoke about Bolden's play on the court making a serious impression on the team, and how the Sixers are reassessing their options, when it comes to the young forward.
“He’s surprisingly better than I thought," Brown said. "I think that he is a modern day player. He is able to stretch the court and legitimately shoot NBA threes.”
“His ability to run the floor and the athleticism is noticed. His ability to switch out on NBA point guards and guard them is also evident. He’s a lot better than we anticipated.”
“[Bolden making this year's roster is] going to be hard, but we’re looking at a bunch of different options right now, and he has impressed us so much that we’re looking at all of it even in a more serious way,” Brown said.
Bolden finished today's game against the Los Angeles Lakers with 5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks in 25 minutes of court time (highlights via CSN Philly). Despite minimal scoring, his defence was solid once again, and provided a steady on-court presence that belied his rookie status.
Could we see more of the Bolden Shower in the coming season?
The forward has said post-game, that his preference lies with the NBA.
"Personally, I think being in the NBA [would be best]. It all comes down to the front office, Brian, and the decision that they make. I think I've showcased what I can do. I'm not satisfied at all, but obviously I've got a long way to go." Bolden said.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a full roster at this point, and it remains in the team's long-term interest to stash Bolden in Serbia with Red Star.
Bolden has made a statement with his Summer League performances to date, and it's not inconceivable to imagine that the Sixers could for example, move Jahlil Okafor in favour of an agile, defensive-minded big man like Bolden, who could also stretch the floor with his shooting while functioning as a rim-protector.