The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a busy start to free agency. They have agreed to contracts with four players and traded for another, giving them an influx of new blood and addressing the team’s greatest weakness: shooting. Players like Max Strus, Georges Niang and Ty Jerome can help modernize and diversify the Cavs’ offense next season.
With only 13 players under contract, however, there is still work to be done. The Cavs could use some athleticism in the frontcourt, or perhaps even some rim protection to rotate in if Evan Mobley or Jarrett Allen miss time. With the Bi-Annual Exception and perhaps even a sliver of the Mid-Level available, the Cavs can bid over the minimum for a player on the market.
One player is entering the free agency market for the first time this summer, and he may be worth looking to before the other options available on the market in their price range. After drafting and signing multiple players the Orlando Magic needed to clear up a roster spot, and they did by waiving young forward Bol Bol.
The Cleveland Cavaliers should already be calling Bol Bol to sign him in free agency
Bol Bol is the son of longtime NBA player Manute Bol, and he inherited his father’s length if not quite his height: Bol Bol stands 7’2″, still among the tallest players in the NBA but a bit short of his father’s 7’7″ height.
What the younger Bol brings is a collection of skills more often found in a guard than a 7’2″ big man. He can handle the ball, he is comfortable pulling up for a jumper and primarily played at one of the forward spots for the Magic over the past few seasons.
Last year he started the year on fire, looking like he had taken a massive leap, but as the season went on his role shrunk and he struggled to hit shots. Even so, his per-36 minutes are tantalizing: 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2 blocks and nearly a 3-pointer per game.
Bol Bol is still just 23 years old, and his size and skillset could still come together in a player who can space the court and provide weakside rim protection. A prospect in this year’s draft, Taylor Hendricks, just went in the top 10 boasting that same exact skillset. If the jumper starts going down Bol is going to be cooking with oil.
The Cavaliers traded for Damion Jones, but he’s mostly a retread option at this point. A project like Bol Bol would be worth taking a flier on, and he could get some minutes in the Evan Mobley role alongside Jarrett Allen.
The Cavs can likely claim Bol off of waivers using their Bi-Annual Exception, or if he hits unrestricted free agency they should give him a call and recruit him to join their young and exciting team. It’s not a stretch to think of Isaiah Mobley and Bol Bol running together on the second-unit frontcourt as early as 2024-25.
If Bol had a host of suitors the Magic would have traded him instead of waiving him, which gives the Cavs a great shot at landing him — but should also be a word of caution. Even an exciting name like Bol is a long shot to make it as an NBA rotation player. Even so, adding him is worth the risk and could boast a lot of reward for the Cavaliers.