clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bol Bol to the Spurs might not be smart but it could be fun

If you ignore the on-court fit and focus on the entertainment factor, signing Bol Bol starts to make sense.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Magic waived Bol Bol on Tuesday, and the news got more attention than it probably should have, especially on Twitter. There was a split between some fans begging their team’s front office to sign him while others acted surprised that people were so interested in a guy who has not been terribly good in the NBA.

I was firmly in the latter group but then I changed my mind. Not because I think it’s a good idea to add Bol if the goal is to improve the roster, mind you, but for other, less orthodox reasons.

Victor Wembanyama could use a freakishly tall friend

Most of the people reading this will be of average height. That’s how it works. The majority of us don’t really have to worry about how short or tall we are. Victor Wembanyama has had to ever since he was a kid, though, and unlike most other basketball players, he will still have to worry about it even in the NBA. Have you seen Victor looking huge alongside David Robinson and Tim Duncan?

Now, Vic’s height is a huge plus in his field so why would anyone think it could be a negative? Well, I had a friend who was taller than everyone else in our class in high school and he developed a hunch because he was constantly slumping in order to not stand out. What if Wembanyama sees that his tallest teammate is Zach Collins, who is about six inches shorter than him, and feels like a freak just as he starts to get more attention than ever? Surely Spurs fans don’t want him to develop an issue with his self-image or posture!

Enter Bol Bol. The former Magic big man is 7’2”, short enough so that Wemby will still be the tallest around, but tall enough to make him look average in photos. The Spurs could simply sign Bol Bol to stand around Wembanyama whenever he’s being interviewed or just around the locker room. The fact that Bol is still young and talented is a bonus. If he pans out, great. If he doesn’t, he’ll at least help Wembanyama’s self-esteem. That’s gotta be worth a couple of million a year.

Any highlights the pair have together will immediately break the internet

Unless something terrible happens or he becomes a viable rotation player overnight, Bol won’t often share the court with Wembanyama. Neither of them is a traditional center at this stage and moving one of them to small forward would make no sense considering neither are world-beaters from beyond the arc and the Spurs have a bunch of players who can man that spot. The sight of two beanpole bigs running together would be great, but for the most part, it would be one or the other on the floor and Victor is obviously going to get the nod.

There’d be the random night, though, when fate would put the two together on the floor for something special. It’s not hard to imagine it. Bol blocks a shot. Opponents recover it and go for another shot and then Victor blocks it. The Spurs get the ball back and go on a fastbreak. Some sort of impressive dunk happens — ideally an alley-oop from one big to the other — and the crowd goes crazy. The clip is posted online and spreads like crazy. Memes about the new Spurs’ twin towers are made. If it happens early enough in the season, fans go crazy thinking the two are going to dominate together. Funs is had by all.

Wembanyama will have plenty of big highlights on his own, but two rail-thin seven-footers with guard skills is a tough combination to beat when it comes to virality. The Spurs can’t let Aleksej Pokusevski and Chet Holmgren hog all the attention, especially since it would hurt to see a cutaway to Patty Mills waiving his towel after every highlight.

The Spurs are just not weird enough anymore

Bol’s not likely to be very good in the NBA. He has struggled on two different teams, so and there are questions about his commitment to improve. He’s tall, he’s talented and he’s fun, but he’s not someone that is likely to become a long-term piece for the Spurs. The thing is, who cares?

San Antonio has a lot of young players that are already good and a few that should be decent. What’s lacking is a flawed but tantalizing prospect that teases enough potential to get the fanbase irrationally invested. Remember Lonnie Walker IV? In four years in San Antonio, he averaged around nine points, two rebounds and one and a half assists per game, less than a memorable stat line. But he could jump really high and would take over for a half in some random game and everyone would get excited. That’s fun!

There was no one like that last season on the roster, so fans had to settle for Romeo Langford or Sandro Mamukelashvili. This year Blake Wesley might fill that role, but it would be better to have a backup plan, just in case, and Bol Bol would excel in that job. In the final minutes of a blowout, we could all clamor for more minutes for the big man. I can already see the articles about him turning the corner when he has a few good games when someone is out with an injury.

Give us someone to argue about, Brian Wright!

So there you have it. Is it a good idea for the Spurs to chase Bol Bol to bolster their young core? Not really. Would it be fun, at least for a while, to have him around? No doubt. Is that a good enough reason for the front office to actually add him? Probably not, but we can dream.