Aussie lands dream $7m NBA payday
BEN Simmons has a new Aussie teammate with the Philadelphia 76ers pinning down Melbourne-born Jonah Bolden with a four-year deal.
Bolden, 22, was selected with the 36th pick in the 2017 draft, but spent last season honing his game in Israel, where he won the championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
He will now suit up for the Sixers alongside Simmons after being offered a $US 7 million contract, which is reportedly guaranteed for the first two seasons and has team options in the following two.
Bolden confirmed the deal this morning with a simple tweet: "Grateful #AllPraiseToTheMostHigh".
His agent Daniel Moldovan, doubled down, tweeting: "Congratulations to client Jonah Bolden! Australia be proud … he's got next #JB43".
Philly had to clear space to sign Bolden and it did that this morning by sending forward Richaun Holmes to Phoenix in exchange for cash.
The son of former NBL champion Bruce Bolden has a versatile skillset that should translate well to the NBA.
The 6'10" forward - who spent one year at UCLA before heading to Europe - sports a huge 7'3" wingspan and has guard-like handles, defensive intensity and ability from deep, making him one of the new breed of prototypical shooting big men.
While he struggled in NBA Summer League - six games, 6.5ppg, 6rpg, 1.5spg on 35 per cent shooting in 23 minutes per game - Bolden gets the chance to learn his craft under former NBL coach Brett Brown, linking up with reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Simmons.
The Sixers have been on the move in recent days, participating in the three-team trade that helped Oklahoma City shed Carmelo Anthony's contract.
The club offloaded Justin Anderson (Atlanta) and Timothy Luwawu-Cabarot (Thunder), receiving Mike Muscala from the Hawks in return.
Maccabi assistant coach Tim Fanning said in December the "coachable" Bolden was "only scratching the surface" during his year in Israel.
"He's so unique, he's an amazing player on the defensive end of the court and those kind of guys just fit in anywhere.
"Any basketball team that he goes to, he's going to find a way to contribute."
Bolden has played U19 basketball for Australia and is set to be part of a golden era for the Boomers, with the World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the horizon.