Jonah Bolden Is Most Likely Overseas Prospect to Join Sixers in 2018-19

First, Dario Saric came over.

Then, Furkan Korkmaz came over.

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Now, it looks like another Sixers draft-and-stash prospect is coming over.

President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Friday that Jonah Bolden is the most likely Sixers draft-and-stash prospect to join the team in 2018-19. Bolden, who the Sixers selected 36th overall in the 2017 draft, spent last season playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Super League and EuroLeague.

Bolden, 22, has an NBA opt-out in his three-year contract with Maccabi.

"The one that is most likely to join this team, if at all, is Jonah Bolden," Colangelo said. "Some of that's being discussed and talked about right now. He's got an option, an NBA-out in his contract to come if it works out favorably for him and us. And that's part of a negotiation. But the team, Maccabi, has his rights for next year in the event that he does not take advantage of his opt-out."

In 29 EuroLeague games, Bolden averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from three and 51.2 percent from the line. During Israeli League play, Bolden averaged 7.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 22 games, with a 42.7/25.7/56.4 shooting clip.

This wasn't Bolden's first professional season either. After spending one year at UCLA, the 6-10 forward played for KK FMP Beograd of Serbia in 2016, when he earned the Adriatic League's Top Prospect award, previously won by Saric and Nikola Jokic.

"[Bolden's] a modern-day big that can play multiple positions, guard multiple positions," Colangelo said. "Can step out and shoot a three. His shooting numbers have gone down a little bit this year, but that we don't believe is an indication of who he is as a player or a shooter. He's a grab-and-go guy. He can rebound the ball very well instinctively. Can handle it in transition, make good decisions. You don't want to put him in that situation every day, but he's a grab-and-go guy that can move the basketball."

The Australian-born Bolden played with the Sixers' summer league squads in Utah and Las Vegas last year, where he flashed his athleticism, defensive range and potential as a stretch-big that Colangelo raved about Friday. 

"As per his coach and GM over at Maccabi, they say he's got some of the best hands defensively they've ever seen," Colangelo said. "We talk all the time about putting rangy lineups on the court, playing defense. Brett [Brown] talks about it all the time, defense being the No. 1 thing that we wanna focus on, along with the other aspects of our game. Defend, pace, space. He fits pretty much every one of those categories as a modern-day big and think he can be a big complement to our next talent here next year."

The Sixers have two other overseas prospects from the 2017 draft, but neither sound ready to come over. Latvian center Anzejs Pasecniks, who the Sixers traded back into the first round to select at No. 25, spent last season playing in Liga ACB in Spain. Colangelo said Pasecniks is "probably not ready physically, nor did we anticipate him being ready."

French forward Mathias Lessort, drafted 50th overall, moved up to the EuroLeague level and played for Crvena Zvezda in Serbia, but Colangelo said Lessort is "not quite at that level of development, still learning the game of basketball ... I don't anticipate him coming either."

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