NBA Draft: 76ers Select Big Man Adem Bona With No. 41 Overall Pick

NBA Draft: 76ers Select Big Man Adem Bona With No. 41 Overall Pick Los Angeles, California, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Adem Bona (3) blocks a shot by Utah Utes guard Gabe Madsen (55) in the second half at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Utah defeated UCLA 70-69. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After selecting Jared McCain with the 16th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers stayed busy on day two of the draft. The Sixers drafted Nigerian big man Adem Bona with the 41st overall pick in the draft.

Bona is an incredible athlete who plays with a high motor. The 21-year old averaged 12.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game for UCLA last season. He does not provide any floor spacing, not taking any 3-pointers while shooting 69.6% from the free-throw line.

The Sixers selected arguably the most athletic player in this draft class. Bona, standing at 6-foot-8 without shoes, has a 7-foot-3 wingspan and a 9-foot standing reach. He is an explosive leaper who gets off the floor quickly. While he grabbed just 5.9 rebounds per game last season, 2.0 of them came on the offensive glass. He crashes the glass with a relentless effort level, and it most shows up on the offensive boards.

Bona has huge defensive potential. He can defend around the rim, blocking 1.8 shots per game despite playing just 26.5 minutes per contest. Bona was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season. The Nigerian native has the agility to effectively defend the pick-and-roll. He can also step out and defend in space, giving him the versatility to defend some power forwards at the NBA level.

Drafting Bona potentially puts Paul Reed’s future in Philadelphia in doubt. Reed’s $7.7 million salary is non-guaranteed since the Sixers failed to make it to the second round of the playoffs last season. Bona and Reed are both similar players, undersized centers with athleticism and high energy levels. As a second-round pick, it is possible the Sixers sign Bona to a two-way contract. However, if Bona receives a standard contract it could mean the end of Reed’s time on the Sixers. According to Adam Aaronson of PhillyVoice, the last three players picked at No. 41 overall signed two-way deals in their rookie seasons.

Bona is raw, but he remains an incredibly gifted athlete with the potential to be an effective player in the NBA. He will most likely spend a lot of his rookie season continuing to develop down in the G League.

Go to top button