Evaluating Jonah Bolden Again in Two Adriatic League Games
June 8, 2017
By Alan Lu
This time, I wanted to get the chance to watch FMP Beograd’s 6-10 big man Jonah Bolden from Australia once again, as he has been receiving some draft buzz lately, and he could be a potential first round pick in 2017. With thanks to YouTube via ABA liga j.t.d., I was able to see him play against MZT Skopje Aeordrom in a February 21st game, as well as in a March 11th game against Cedevita. Here are my thoughts on how he fared in those games, as well as how he may rate as a prospect for the NBA.
Jonah Bolden is a gifted shooter that can knock down many threes to space the floor for his team. He has great range on his shot, and he can really excel at making outside shots off the catch. He can routinely knock them down, especially when he is given considerable space to shoot the basketball. Plus, he also can make them off the dribble, as he can also score on long-range, pull-up jumpers. He also can make the occasional mid-range shot, but sometimes he may be prone to missing at times, especially when defenders really crowd him.
He also may be a fairly good scorer off the dribble. Bolden has a solid first step to the hoop, and he can really drive hard to the basket when he is out in the open court. Bolden possesses the footwork and shooting touch to also score on a fadeaway jumper, but sometimes, he may be prone to rushing his shots in traffic, as that can lead to misses. Also, he did not post up well in this game, as he was unable to score on turnaround jumpers whenever he would elect to hoist them up.
Plus, he also displayed solid playmaking skills. Bolden is a very good passer that tends to throw crisp, accurate interior passes, as he has the court sense to find his teammates on the move, and he also can handle the basketball. He can routinely hit the cutter, and he also can find the open man off of the dribble. But sometimes, he can play too wildly on offense, as this may lead to commit turnovers on occasion.
However, he will need to improve his rebounding. For the positives, Bolden can haul in his fair share of defensive boards, and sometimes he will push the ball up the floor to create early offense or fast break scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. On the other hand, he also may tend not to block out, as he can tend to give up rebounds in his area, which may lead him to commit fouls and allow put back scores as a result.
Also, Bolden showcased decent defensive skills. Bolden has good length, quickness, and instincts as a help defender, as he can poke balls away, play passing lanes, and heap on loose balls to come away with numerous steals. Plus, he also can make quick rotations to force difficult passes, and he also can use his length to deflect passes. In addition, he also can swat and alter shots on occasion to force misses.
On the other hand, he can tend to have lapses defensively. Sometimes, he may not run hard back on defense, which can lead the other team to score on fast breaks. Other times, he can be caught out of position rendering unable to successfully challenge shots, and he also can be too foul prone in trying to swat shots in the paint. On top of that, sometimes he may be prone to over helping in the paint, as the other team may end up capitalizing by scoring on long-range jumpers.
In general, Jonah Bolden is an athletic, skilled big man that has an intriguing set of offensive skills that could enable him to be a first round pick in 2017. He is a very good shooter, especially for a player his size, and he already has NBA range as he can make outside shots from far out. He also looked to be a better passer and ball handler than anticipated.
However, his rebounding and defense still may need improvement, as there were times where he looked to be too passive both in going for boards as well as on the defensive end. But with his skill set, if he is able to realize his full potential, he could perhaps end up being a good player in the NBA.
FMP Beograd’s 6-8 combination forward, Dejan Davidovac also looked to have an interesting set of skills in the two games that I saw. While he may not be receiving much draft buzz and is a long shot to be drafted, he could be a prospect to keep an eye on in the future. Davidovac showed an impressive ability to score on hustle plays. He showed a knack for scoring in transition, as well as off cuts, and put backs, as he can throw down emphatic dunks at the rim, sometimes even in traffic. Plus, he also can draw numerous fouls upon his defenders, as he possesses good body control and the smarts to do so.
He also may be an adequate scorer off the dribble. Davidovac is a patient scorer that can regularly score on drives to the basket, and he also can score on an off-balanced leaner. But sometimes, he may struggle to score in traffic, as he does not possess a great first step when he looks to score on isolation plays in the half court, and he can get his shots blocked at times.
He also will need to improve his ability to shoot the basketball. Davidovac can make an occasional three and mid-range jumper, as he can make them both off the catch and dribble, but too often he may tend to miss shots when he is on the floor. Plus, he may also possess adequate playmaking skills. Davidovac is a tall ball handler that sees the floor fairly well, and he is an unselfish player that can set up numerous scoring chances for his teammates. He can often find the open man, as he can even hit them in stride. But sometimes he can throw inaccurate passes that can either sail out of bounds or get picked off.
He may also be an adequate rebounder. He is active at crashing the offensive glass, as he can beat his man to spots to collect them. Plus, he can use his leaping skills to come away with his fair share of boards, and he can also save balls to his teammates to help his team get defensive rebounds. But sometimes, he end up being out of position, which can lead his team to allow put back scores, but he will need to improve his defense. For the positives, he possesses a very good ability to collect steals, as he can jump passes and poke balls away due to possessing quick hands and the instincts to do so. He also is a surprisingly good low post defender for a player his size, as he can hold his ground to force misses and ball handling turnovers.
However, he may struggle to defend quicker players, as he can get beat off the dribble. Also, he may tend to sag off of his man, which can lead him to allow his opponents to score on numerous jumpers. Other times, he may over help in the paint, make improper rotations, or struggle to fight through screens. Also, he may have a tendency to commit reach-in fouls.
In general, Dejan Davidovac may be an unlikely candidate to be drafted, but he is putting up some good numbers in both the Adriatic League and in Serbia’s top league, the KLS. He will need to improve his jump shot and position defense considerably, but his skills could allow him to carve out a long and successful career overseas nonetheless.
FMP Beograd’s 6-9 big man, Dragan Apic threw down an emphatic dunk on the break after beating his man down court to get the ball late in the game against MZT Skopje Aeordrom. He is a high-energy player that seems to possess above average physical tools, and he also is a good passer that passes well from the post, and is an active offensive rebounder. However, he didn’t seem to excel as much in the other facets of the game. Most likely, he may wind up going undrafted, but he could end up being an effective role player overseas in professional basketball for quite awhile.