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'Bol Bol is free!' NBA fans celebrate as Nuggets big man is traded to Pistons

Joshua Rogers January 9, 2022
'Bol Bol is free!' NBA fans celebrate as Nuggets big man is traded to Pistons
Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

People on social media were saying ‘Bol Bol is free’ today as reports emerged the big man was being traded to the Pistons.

Bol Bol has cultivated a strong following among NBA fans since being drafted with the 44th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Not only is he the son of former NBA favourite Manute Bol, his unique frame has garnered attention from hardcore and casual fans alike.

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Bol Bol traded to Pistons, fans celebrate

On Sunday (9 January), Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Detroit Pistons were finalising a deal with the Denver Nuggets to acquire Bol Bol. The Nuggets would get Rodney McGruder and a 2022 second-round pick via Brooklyn in the deal for Bol, per Wojnarowski.

The 7ft 2in center was only averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds over 14 games this season, and social media was elated Bol could be seeing more minutes. ‘Bol Bol is free’ became the over-riding sentiment on Twitter.

Bol Bol just wasn’t fancied by Mike Malone in Denver

Bol Bol has struggled for playing time this season, even when Nikola Jokic has been out. NBA Twitter had enough of things months ago when the ‘Free Bol Bol’ movement originally started.

In November, when Jokic was out, many felt it would be time for Bol Bol to assert himself in the Nuggets rotation. However, Denver head coach Michael Malone is notorious for running a short rotation and has preferred to trust his established veterans over emerging stars.

However, against the Pacers, Bol received a DNP-CD. He did feature against the Mavericks shortly after, though, finishing with seven points and proving what a useful weapon he could be. Still, it clearly didn’t impress Malone that much as he has barely had minutes since

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The ‘Free Bol Bol’ movement started after limited minutes vs Blazers

The Nuggets got blown out by the Blazers on 23 November, losing 119-110. The game was over by the second half, but Bol Bol still only got one minute of playing time.

Even with injuries to Michael Porter Jr and PJ Dozier, Bol still didn’t get a look-in in the rotation, and NBA fans had enough. They vented their frustrations on social media and started the ‘Free Bol Bol’ hashtag to get the big man either more minutes or a trade.

Finally fans have got their wish. The Pistons are taking a gamble on young talent right now and it’s a low-risk, high-reward deal for the team. Bol offers size, athleticism and shooting, and it will be interesting to see how he slots into the rotation.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.