Nervous Jonah Bolden impresses NBA scouts ahead of draft

play
Bolden: Transition was a challenge (1:48)

Australian NBA draft prospect Jonah Bolden discusses adjusting from college life to playing professionally in Serbia. (1:48)

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA - Jonah Bolden had his solitary NBA workout in front of 30 scouts on Saturday as the final preparation for the draft to be held in New York.

Bolden, who arrived in the U.S. from Serbia just days earlier, was a little nervous as the eyes of scouts and GMs were focused on him, and it showed as his shooting was a little off. He did, however, have a chance to showcase his versatility, ball-handling and athleticism, throwing down several thunderous dunks, as he ran through some drills before conducting several interviews with representatives from multiple NBA teams.

"I feel like I could have done a little bit better in the workout, but I had four interviews after with different teams," Bolden told ESPN. "That was one of the biggest reasons why teams came out here, to see how my character is, and I believe I'm a great guy, great character, so today went really well."

Another Australian, Kentucky's Isaac Humphries, worked out alongside Bolden and impressed many at the training facility with his deft touch around the basket and nifty footwork. Sources told ESPN that Humphries may have guaranteed himself a NBA Summer League roster berth with his showing.

Bolden, who has been soaring up draft boards in recent weeks as scouts love his 6'10 frame and 7'4 wingspan, was the man they came to see today, though. He was heavily scouted by teams while playing for FMP Belgrade in Serbia through the past nine months, with sources confirming to ESPN that some teams had visited Serbia on numerous occasions to get a glimpse of him, so teams will forgive his shooting woes at the Pro Day -- especially considering he shot 40 percent from distance in the Serbian league.

Bolden's agent, Daniel Moldovan, told ESPN that scouts wouldn't put too much emphasis on the workout as they had an entire body of work to look at from the past nine months.

"Today is pretty much icing on the cake - it doesn't make or break anything," Moldovan said. "Considering he's just off the plane from Serbia and it's been a long season, he didn't shoot the ball the way he wanted to, but the point of today was to show the way he moves. Everybody has a very good feel for Jonah overall, and I think today was an opportunity to do something prior to the draft seeing as his season went so long in Europe."

NBA skills trainer Jordan Lawley, who has been helping to prepare Bolden for the NBA, and who conducted the Pro Day workout in Irvine, said the Australian had shown enough to possibly move up the board in the draft and be taken with a higher pick than the late second-round at which he's currently projected.

"I thought he did phenomenal in the workout," Lawley told ESPN. "He was only with us for four days -- he just got done with his playoffs in Serbia -- so we had very limited time, so our focus was on drilling the Pro Day. The amount of growth he's had, he's got unbelievable potential, and I think he showcased his potential in the workout."

With just five days until the NBA draft, all the hard work is over for Bolden: He's played his last game, and done his last workout; now it's time to enjoy the process, and Bolden is ready for whatever happens.

"I'm looking forward to Thursday," he said. "No expectations. Whatever happens, happens. I'm just going to make the most of it."

Watch the 2017 NBA draft live on ESPN in Australia and New Zealand at 9 a.m. (AEST) on June 23.