PF/C Oregon Jordan Bell 6’9” 225 7’0” wingspan
Player Comparison: A more imposing Jerami Grant
Why here: Its doubtful Portland is the team picking 26th when the clock starts ticking, so I will presume their pick will be the best overall player in terms of trade value at this point. Either that or they will go for draft and stash. There are appealing foreign prospects but a lot of them have made it clear they would prefer to enter the league immediately. Regardless, Bell is a player with a lot of upside as one of the most versatile defenders in this draft. Despite being undersized, Bell has shown prowess as a rim protector and p&r threat on either side of the ball.
Strengths: A defensive enforcer whose presence was felt on that side of the floor regardless of the situation. Chase down blocks, weak side blocks, ISO blocks, you name it. Fantastic timing and ability to predict shots… caught several blocks. Best as a weak side or transition defender. Makes up for lack of height with strong base and athletic frame. Can handle switches on to guards because of quick feet, length, bounce, and lateral agility… recovers well when beat. Denies the ball on post entries… pokes out whimsy passes… stops over the top feeds. Is active in passing lanes with quick hands and arms, resulting in lots of steals and quick transitions.
Athletic freak… plays far above the rim… runs the floor smoothly and easily… impressive speed and agility… very imposing lob threat, especially in transition. Very comfortable on the fast break… fills lanes well… fluid when catching the ball with one dribble into elevation for dunks… finishes alleys and dunks from long distances… is very coordinated… can catch and finish with both hands.
Is very active and engaged offensively… floats in empty space ready for lobs at all times… not phased by contact in air… goes up strong and quick. Rolls effectively in p&r sets… is big target and finishes with consistency. Is an efficient offensive player despite lacking much of a post game… plays with intensity and has shown signs of a face up game… has a couple moves with baby hooks and drop steps. Footwork is improving and showed signs of being impressive.
Is good at finding shooters on p&r and when pressured… shows patience and level of vision for perimeter threats and other bigs when defenses collapse on him.
Aggressive offensive rebounder… effort and motor shine through… always in pursuit… rebounds with ferocity in traffic… tip slams on top of tip slams.
Is a winner.
Weaknesses: Other than being marginally undersized, most of Bell’s weak aspects of his game are amendable through proper direction and development.
The majority of his shortcomings are on the offensive end, as he has not yet developed a complete low post game or a dependable jumper. Outside of finishing at the rim his game is very stagnant and unproductive… doesn’t have post moves outside of a baby hook… doesn’t have touch or gentle feel on jumpshot… no approach shots or fadeaway/turnaround in his arsenal… his footwork has improved dramatically, but it is still raw and unpolished… he often goes off the wrong foot or just one foot instead of two. Picks up his dribble too early in most 1v1 scoring situations… has to force difficult shot attempt or pass out. Is prone to blocks due to the lack of fluidity of his moves.
Needs to improve his offensive skills on the perimeter… is strong when attacking the hoop despite not having good handling skills, but often is predictable and gets blockaded by the defense. Dribble into shot is smooth, but lacks touch and consistency- defenses often sag off.
Bigs with superior length and athleticism can score over the top, but overall his post defense is commendable. He will be best slated guarding fours, but will need to play with a stretch five for the offense to remain effective and spaced out properly.
Often in incorrect position on defense for rebounds because of his pursuit for blocks… doesn’t box out as frequently as would be preferred… gets most of his rebounds out of his own area.
Outlook: Bell will fit well in a scheme with a shooting five coming off the bench. If he can slot in as the four in a second unit he will mesh. Bell should enter the league with the ability to immediately affect the game in terms of defensive impact. His skills are transferrable in todays NBA, so major sole weakness of size shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Hopefully he can develop a more consistent face up game.
Random Prediction: Will be first in this class to win a championship. Will start four games this year.