The Denver Nuggets are moving on from Bol Bol, trading the 7-foot-2 center to Detroit for Rodney McGruder and a second-round pick, a league source confirmed to The Denver Post.
The Nuggets have no plans to cut McGruder, a source said, and he has fans within the organization.
Bol, a second-round pick in 2019, has had tantalizing moments and frustrating ones across his three seasons with the Nuggets. But he never once established any consistency in coach Michael Malone’s rotations.
Behind the scenes, it was impossible to know why Bol never fully earned Malone’s trust, as other forwards jumped Bol on the depth chart. But when he did play, his engagement and focus often waned, which undoubtedly contributed to his sparse playing time.
Privately, even some of Bol’s teammates wondered why he hadn’t gotten a bigger chance to prove himself. He’ll get that in Detroit, where the Pistons are in complete rebuilding mode.
Part of the on-going problem with Bol was his positional fit. It was never clear whether he was a mismatch at small forward or power forward, and whether he was able to handle the defensive responsibilities that came with those positions. The other problem was his inconsistent effort.
When he was leapfrogged in the rotation by Vlatko Cancar (prior to his foot fracture) and Zeke Nnaji, it was apparent the coaching staff saw more potential in those forwards than Bol.
Regardless, Bol appeared in only 14 games this season, averaging a mere 5.8 minutes per game.
The Nuggets returned a second-round pick (via Brooklyn) and Pistons guard McGruder, who played sparingly off the bench in Detroit.
In other roster moves, the Nuggets converted Davon Reed to a two-way contract and waived current two-way Petr Cornelie. Reed had signed three consecutive 10-day hardship exceptions and proved himself a valuable, versatile defender.
The Nuggets are also still likely to sign backup center DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day deal, a source said. The team was meeting with Cousins on Sunday afternoon.
ESPN first reported news of the trade.