Bol Bol’s season could have come to an end quicker than anyone imagined.
The 7-foot-2 freshman has missed the last four games dealing with a foot injury, and according to a report from 247 Sports’ Duck Territory, that injury is a stress fracture in his left foot. The site is reporting that while a decision is not yet final, Oregon is not anticipating that they will be getting their future lottery pick back this season.
This is a smart move on Bol’s part, assuming that his injury is a stress fracture. He is a lock to be a top ten pick in June even with myriad red flags that he carries as a prospect. There is going to be a team that falls in love with his combination of height, length, skill and shooting ability, and limiting the amount of film that there is on him struggling to defend — hell, struggling to care about defending — is a smart move to protect his draft position.
And it also makes sense given that this is a foot injury.
This is a lost season for essentially everyone in the Pac-12. The conference was such a disaster in the first six weeks of the season that there is a very real chance that the league gets just a single bid to the NCAA tournament. Does it make sense for a seven-footer to push himself to come back from a stress fracture in his foot just for the chance to have to win four games in four days to earn the right to play in the NCAA tournament when he’s not getting paid to play and his income is not yet guaranteed?
The answer is no.
This is a trend that we are starting to see with lottery picks this year.
Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland tore his meniscus in November, and prior to undergoing surgery it was already official that he would not be returning to the court this season. That one is more understandable that what is going on with USC’s Kevin Porter. After an impressive start to the season that saw him skyrocket up draft boards after the first five games that he played, Porter suffered what has been called a thigh bruise and since November 20th, has played in just one game — a four minute cameo against Nevada.
I’m not the only one starting to wonder if that thigh bruise will require amputation, or if Porter has been told to shut it down.
Like Bol, Porter has played his way into a lot of guaranteed money based on what is currently on tape. Why risk it for a year that seems destined to end up in the NIT?