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What to expect from Joel Bolomboy this summer

Just turn into the Black Panther of Marvel’s Universe

Marvel Studios Fan Event Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Joel Bolomboy is, probably, one of my favorite players on the Utah Jazz right now. He just needs to play a little more for his bandwagon to grow. The 6’9 bigman with negative body fat percentage: hustles, can face up, hits threes, hits the glass, and has never once known fear in his life. He just, again, needs playing time. He’s going to get it on this Summer League team. He’s got three games in Utah (against the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and San Antonio Spurs), and as many as possible in Las Vegas. My hope for him is to become the 4th big in the Jazz rotation by season’s end.

And I think he can do it.

That’s a big step up form his rookie campaign that saw him on the floor for 52.5 total minutes. But even when he wasn’t playing in garbage time he was both efficient and effective. He has the handles and shooting range that Jeremy Evans never had. And he’s got the defensive mentality that entirely escaped Trey Lyles. He doesn’t have Boris Diaw’s passing, Rudy Gobert’s length, or Derrick Favors’ brute force. But he does have at least one more year under his belt than super young draft pick Tony Bradley.

That’s a start, and a climb up the Totem Pole.

He doesn’t have to average a double double this summer; but he has to build off of what we saw of him in the NBA D-League (now G-League). Last summer he averaged 7.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 spg, and 0.2 bpg in 19.3 mpg. With the Salt Lake City Stars he played a whole lot more, 34.5 mpg. And he delivered: 16.4 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.6 spg, and 1.2 bpg. Moreover, he shot .457 from downtown, off of 1.9 3PTA/G.

He needs to build off of that. And also a few vicious dunks and blocks too, please!