Jones: Bol Bol provides ‘something different’ for new-look Suns

Jul 20, 2023, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:27 am

Bol Bol looks to pass...

Bol Bol #10 of the Orlando Magic in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at United Center on February 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns were among the busiest, if not the busiest, when it came down to revamping the roster this offseason.

Aside from the team’s blockbuster deal to land star guard Bradley Beal, Phoenix added a handful of new faces via free agency in addition to trading away future draft capital to make things work on paper.

Amid the flurry of moves was the signing of four-year pro and big man Bol Bol. At 7-foot-2 and 220 pounds, the forward presents a unique look for general manager James Jones and head coach Frank Vogel to work with.

They just have to unlock the former Orlando Magic big man. They hope a change in scenery can help with that.

“If we can realize some of his potential and he can continue to develop, he gives us something different,” Jones told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday. “We understand you have to be different to win a title. The best teams have dynamic players at all positions and dynamic players that play multiple positions.

“We expect him to come in and play with some great players and get better. We do know he’s competitive, we do know that he’s tremendously skilled and now he gets to do that with a winning team.”

Bol is coming off his best season as pro as a member of the Magic. In 70 games played (33 starts), the big man averaged 9.1 points on 54.6% shooting and 26.5% from deep to go along with 5.8 rebounds, one assist and 1.2 blocks across 21.5 minutes per game.

But with one player joining Phoenix’s ranks, another was shipped out.

In order to add Bol to the roster, the Suns sent point guard Cameron Payne in a trade package to the San Antonio Spurs for a second-round pick swap.

The Suns weren’t done there, either, agreeing to a 2026 first-round pick swap with Orlando in exchange for three future second-rounders.

It was all a part of Jones’ master plan.

“(The Payne trade) was a part of a series of transactions that we made that we thought would give us roster balance and flexibility,” the GM said. “Cam was tremendous for us for the last three years, but we have changed the identity of our team. When you look at the types of players that we have on the floor, they have size, defensive versatility, length.

“When we thought about that position, you’re talking about (Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal) having the ball in their hands and being high usage. We needed a different type of guard and I think we have that. But at the same time, we’re open to continue to try to figure out how to add those same traits, defensive versatility, at our guard position.”

As far as Jones being content with the amount of moves and roster reconstruction made?

“I’d say I’m energized but never satisfied,” he said. “It’s never complete. Teams are trying to get better just like we’re trying to get better and teams will get better in season. I do like our starting point and just hope that if we can stay healthy and continue to focus on the things that matter, focus on improving, that we’ll be in a good spot.”

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