Jordan Bell is a ball-hawk.
Whether it’s a steal, rebound, or block, the 6’8” 224 lb. power forward is hunting for the ball constantly on the defensive end. Bell’s athleticism and defensive versatility stood out this last season as the 22-year-old junior was named the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Bell averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 1.3 steals in 28.8 minutes per game last season for the Oregon Ducks. While his statistics aren’t the most impressive among first round prospects, his energy and athleticism are what impact the game most.
Again, Jordan Bell is a ball-hawk.
Bell blocked 8 shots in a single game this year, and that’s not a typo. 8 blocks. In the Elite Eight. Against top-seeded Kansas. He posted double-digit rebounds 15 times last season. The Pac-12 DPOY also stole the ball 3+ times in 7 games.
That’s where Jordan Bell makes his difference.
Defensively, Bell is all over the court. He can guard multiple positions and consistently switch 1-4. His lateral agility allows him to keep the opponent in front of him, and his 7’0” wingspan can make up for the times his defender drives past him.
In fact, Bell had the best defensive rating in the conference last season (89.0), which should come as no surprise given his Pac-12 DPOY award. He also had the best defensive rating in the conference the season before (91.9).
Offensively, Bell is an elite finisher. He thrives around the rim off of lobs, dump-offs, and put-backs. This was the reason for his 63.6% field goal percentage and 65.8% true shooting percentage.
Not only can he find space around the rim in half-court sets, his speed and leaping ability help him in transition. The big man is able to get out on the break and run rim to rim for easy finishes.
Additionally, Bell is no Nikola Jokic, but he is a capable passer. The Oregon product is able to find the open man out on the perimeter when he runs pick and rolls and has the ball in the post.
Here is DraftExpress.com’s comprehensive analysis on the NBA prospect’s strengths.
While Bell excels offensively at finding open space to dunk the ball, his offensive game is limited outside of finishing.
Bell’s post game is not terrible, but it needs work. He lacks craftiness around the rim and has trouble when his back is to the basket. It also does not help that he is only 6’8”. When being guarded by a bigger man, Bell lacks the size and creativity to score in the post.
Bell is also unable to stretch the floor offensively. In his three seasons at Oregon, Bell shot 16 three point attempts but converted just 3 of them. His offensive game has a long way to go before he makes an impact on that end of the floor.
Yet, Bell has a few defensive flaws as well. Remember, he’s a ball-hawk.
Since he is so athletic, Bell tends to rely on his athleticism on the defensive end of the floor. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. When the opposing team shoots the ball, Bell fails to look for bodies to box out at times. Instead, he relies on his length and leaping ability to grab the rebound. If he fails to box out, the opponent is able to gain inside positioning on Bell, which makes it tougher for Bell to rebound.
Bell also loves to block the ball so much, he sometimes leaves his man to block the shot. The ball handler may pump fake and dump the ball off to the player by the rim, who was left open by Bell.
DraftExpress.com’s video analysis on Bell’s weaknesses is below.
Many project Jordan Bell to be a late first round pick or early second round pick. At 18, Bell may be a bit of a stretch, but his long-term fit next to Myles Turner is hard to ignore.
Imagine Turner and Bell protecting the rim together. Imagine Turner stretching the floor offensively and Bell being inside to clean up everything that comes his way. The two compliment each other well.
However, the short-term fit makes little sense. Bell would most likely come off the bench alongside Al Jefferson or Kevin Seraphin. Since none of these players can consistently stretch the floor, the lane would likely be clogged which only hurts the second unit’s offense.
Personally, I believe the Pacers will have better options at 18 overall. However, if Pritchard is looking for a long-term fit next to Myles Turner, Bell could be a solid option.
The 2017 NBA Draft is June 22nd at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.