In the words of Sixers’ radio play-by-play host Tom McGinnis, GET EXCITED!
It’s time for Summer League basketball.
Tonight your team, your town, your minicamp Sixers kick it off against the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN, and while this year’s iteration of Summer League doesn’t feature the excitement of a top five draft pick, I think there are still some interesting players to keep an eye on.
I originally had Bolden listen as my main focus for Summer League, but with Amir Johnson re-signing, my interest wanes slightly. Brett Brown was high on Amir last season as a capable veteran backup, so it seems less likely that a guy like Bolden or Richaun Holmes plays a lot of second unit center minutes this season.
Still, you’re gonna see Bolden in some scraps with Texas A&M rookie Robert Williams, the 27th overall pick who already missed a flight and a summer league practice. The 6’10” center matches Bolden for height and is listed about 10-15 pounds heavier. He’s also going to run into Guerschon Yabusele, the experienced 6’8″ power forward who played 33 games for the Celtics last year. Semi Ojeleye, the 6’7″ defensive specialist, is also on the Boston roster.
Playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv as an overseas stash this past season, Bolden put up 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 21.1 minutes per game. He didn’t shoot the ball amazingly well and tried 2.5 three point attempts per contest, hitting at just 31.9% –
Joel Embiid he is not, but he doesn’t necessarily have to be. At the risk of running the Bolden hype train off the rails, I want to see if he can become an energetic C/PF hybrid who can spell Embiid in a smaller second unit lineup or even play alongside him. I know the addition of Nemanja Bjelica and the possibility of going to a Saric/Bjelica small ball shooting look makes that unlikely right away, but it’s something to think about for the not-so-distant future:
I think I’d prefer to see Bolden start at center with Cam Oliver playing power forward, but Keith Pompey says he’ll be at the four tonight:
That’s fine. As long as we get a good sample size of Bolden also playing the five, I’d have no problem seeing him out there battling with Yabusele and others.