(Erica Rodriguez/Los Angeles Lakers)
2019 Player Capsule: Isaac Bonga
The league’s youngest player got his first taste of NBA life.
As expected, Isaac Bonga primarily played his rookie season in the G League, where he averaged 11.9 points and 6.2 rebounds for the South Bay Lakers.
The NBA was another matter, as he averaged 5.5 minutes and shot just 5-of-33 from the field.
With a player so young, that kind of turbulence is to be expected. But he certainly showed his potential — and intriguing skill set — with South Bay.
Standing at 6-foot-8 and armed with a 7-foot wingspan, Bonga has elite length, which is a premium in the modern NBA. Due to his size, he was positionally flexible for South Bay, playing both forward spots and running point guard.
He was a solid spot-up shooter and hit 34.4 percent of his 3-pointers. On the other end of the floor, he used his massive frame to his advantage as an impactful defender, who thrived in off-ball and help situations.
By the Numbers
22: Games played in the NBA. Bonga spent most of the year in the G League, but played about a quarter of the NBA slate, including the final nine games.
30: Points scored for South Bay in a win over Iowa on Jan. 25. He shot 13-of-18 from the field and punished the Wolves with his size on the offensive glass and the post.
48.9: G League field goal percentage in November. Bonga started his season hot, averaging 14.4 points over the first month while hitting 45.9 percent on 3s and 85.2 percent at the free throw line.
With his body still very much in development, Bonga said that his offseason goals include adding more physicality to his game.
Listed at 180 pounds, Bonga will definitely seek to pack some muscle onto his frame in order to battle with the brutes that populate basketball’s top league.
Bonga also pointed to improving his shooting. He hit a solid clip from deep in the G League, but will look to push that closer to league average and not regress to when he shot just 25.4 percent in the German League.
Speaking of Germany, the Neuwied native plans to try out for his country’s national team in hopes of making the cut for the FIBA World Cup in August.
G League Shot Chart
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