The trade between the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets for 7-footer Bol Bol is off after Bol failed his physical for Detroit, according to Mike Singer and media reports.
Singer, a Nuggets beat writer for the Denver Post said that the Nuggets are “taken aback by the news” as Bol had been injury free since joining Denver in 2019 seemingly fully recovered from foot surgery he ha at Oregon in 2019.
The deal would have sent Bol to Detroit for Rodney McGruder and a Nets’ second-round pick projected to land in the mid-50s. The Pistons eyed Bol as a perimeter oriented big man who could block shots, shoot 3s and playmake a little bit. He was essentially auditioning for a potential future role and future contract in Detroit.
In Denver, Bol has failed to earn any significant playing time so moving on from the former second-rounder as he is set to enter restricted free agency made sense.
McGruder had already joined the Nuggets and even participated in a shootaround before their game against the Clippers, but now he will apparently return to Detroit.
This is not the first time the Pistons have controversially voided a completed trade following less than ideal news surrounding a physical. Under Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons traded for another perimeter oriented big man Donatas Motiejunas with an eye toward giving him a post-rookie contract.
Motiejunas had a series of back issues that limited his availability in his final season in Houston, but looked to get a fresh start with Detroit. Detroit’s doctors failed Motiejunas’ physical because of those same back issues.
The Rockets voided an agreed-to four-year deal for between $31-$37 million after matching an offer sheet signed by the Brooklyn Nets where Motijunas passed his phsyical, but there were reports he refused to take a new one with the Rockets.
The Lithuanian big man played 34 games the next season with the New Orleans Pelicans. He played overseas and returned to the NBA for a quick three-game stint in April 2019 with the Spurs but went back overseas where he has played since.
Motijunas chimed in on the Bol Bol news with the question “How many times [NBA Players Association] will [they]let this happen …” before elaborating:
I was failed on physicals and told by Detroit doctors i will not play basketball again … 6 years laters i am still here and have many years to go . They destroying young players names and futures in NBA by doing this .
— Donatas Motiejunas (@DonatasMot) January 13, 2022
So I guess Bol Bol will not be the savior that Detroit was looking for. But we wish him good luck and good health going forward, and we wish for the Pistons to do something, anything to make things a little less bleak in the immediate future.