SLAM x Panini Rookie Spotlight: Bones Hyland

SLAM x Panini Rookie Spotlight: Bones Hyland


“GOODMORNING EVERYONEEEEE LETS GOOOOOOOOOO. TODAY SOME TEAM IS GONNA GET A WINNER, PASSIONATE, HUMBLE, FUNNY, JOYFUL, ALL STAR, ALL OF THE ABOVE TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!! I’m just so THANKFUL THANK YOU GOD…”

Bones Hyland tweeted that at 10:38 am on July 29, 2021—the day of the NBA Draft. It sums up who he’s—and what he brings to the desk—fairly completely. Later that night, the Denver Nuggets chosen Hyland with the 26th total choose. The 6-3 guard, initially from Wilmington, Delaware (simply the third participant from the state ever to be drafted within the first spherical), had dominated the earlier season at Virginia Commonwealth University, averaging 19.5 factors and main the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-pointers made (69). He was thought-about one of the gifted perimeter shooters within the 2021 Class, able to pulling up from anyplace and flattening powerful, contested seems. With his elite quickness and artful handles, Bones additionally confirmed a capability to get to the rim. If it wasn’t apparent from the tweet above, he performs with lots of power, ardour and confidence—on each ends of the ground. He added 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per recreation final 12 months for the Rams.

Still, it was Hyland’s potential to ship “instant offense” on the NBA degree—to be a flamethrower, electrifying sixth-man kind—that stood out to most scouts. Here are a few of the gamers he was in comparison with heading into the ’21 Draft: Immanuel Quickley, Jordan Clarkson, Devonte Graham, Jamal Crawford and Ben Gordon.

Those comparisons ought to offer you a superb sense for Hyland’s recreation, they usually have proved apt throughout his rookie marketing campaign up to now. The 21-year-old has been a much-needed scoring spark for the Nuggets, particularly with major weapons Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray sidelined. In simply 18 minutes per recreation, Bones is averaging 8.7 factors and capturing 36 p.c from three. He hasn’t been shy or hesitant in any respectrating 12th in the whole NBA at one level in three-point makes an attempt per 100 possessions (min. 25 video games performed) with 13.3. Among rooks, he’s fourth in complete three-pointers made (80), trailing simply Cade Cunningham (89), Chris Duarte (87) and Jalen Green (83). Worth noting: Hyland has performed 500 fewer minutes than all three of these lottery picks.

In different phrases, Hyland is doing precisely what the Nuggets need him to do: offering a raise on offense and being aggressive from the second he steps on the ground. He additionally brings an depth, aptitude and competitiveness that may be contagious. Stuff like this tends to encourage the entire workforce: 

Bones has been enhancing steadily all through his first 12 months, growing extra chemistry with former MVP Nikola Jokic and incomes extra belief from the teaching employees. Before the All-Star break, he had five-game stretch during which he averaged 12.4 factors, together with a 22-point outing in a 132-115 win over the Knicks.

As anticipated, there have been a number of nights when Bones has caught fireplace and rapidly lit up opposing defenses. He dropped 24 factors in 26 minutes—capturing 8/11 from the sector and 4/5 from three—towards the Hawks in December. A month later, going through the Lakers at Staples Center, he went off for a career-high 27 factors and 10 assists, flattening 6/10 from deep. Watch how fearlessly he assaults within the spotlight video under, whether or not he’s unleashing a stepback, coming off a ball display screen or launching from manner behind the arc. 

Hyland changed the injured Davion Mitchell in final Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge and confirmed why he belonged. He was, unsurprisingly, a supply of immediate offense, notching 10 factors and hitting a pair of threes. Hall of Famer Gary Payton—his workforce’s coach—was apparently telling him, “They can’t guard you, go get a bucket every time.”

“Man, this is just the beginning for me,” Bones stated afterwards. “Just to see everything and knowing what I can be in this league—[with] what I provide, what I can bring, I know I’m going to be an All-Star in this league. So seeing this stuff firsthand, it’s big for me. I’m soaking all of this in.”





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