Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Sixers call Oregon forward Jordan Bell 'Dennis Rodman-like'

The power forward out of Oregon impressed in his workout and interview.

Jordan Bell's versatility stood out to the 76ers on Wednesday morning.

The 6-foot-7, 223-pound power forward out of Oregon was one of six draft prospects at the Sixers' second predraft workout.  The superior athleticism of the Pac-12 defensive player of the year was evident in the portion of the scrimmage the media were allowed to watch.

But the team was also impressed by what it learned about him off the court.

"For a Dennis Rodman-like player who has the ability to play across a few positions, mainly defensively, we sat with him, had a great interview as we've learned more about him," Sixers executive Brandon Williams said.

They learned that Bell's volleyball background translates on the basketball court. For instance, he blocks a lot of shots using both hands instead of one - much like a volleyball player making a block at the net.

Similar to Hall of Famer Rodman, Bell is undersized for the position. His 6-7 measurement came without wearing shoes at last month's draft combine. The Long Beach, Calif., native measured 6-81/2 in sneakers.

But he plays taller than his height.

"His spring, his sense of timing, coaches always want players that can guard pick-and-roll and guys who can switch," Williams said. "He's going to give somebody a great asset in a versatile, defensive player."

With those attributes, Bell thinks he would fit well with the Sixers.

"Obviously, they have some good scorers here already," Bell said. "So if I were to come here just to do all the dirty work, rebound, defend and make the right pass and make the right reads."

Bell has already worked out for the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings. He has workouts scheduled with the Phoenix Suns and others.

Bell could go late in the first round or early in the second round in the June 22 draft.

CBS Sports has the Brooklyn Nets selecting him with the 27th overall pick in a mock draft. has the Lakers selecting him one spot later. Tankathon has the Magic using their 33rd overall pick on Bell, while Draft Express thinks the Magic will wait to pick him at 35.

Bell averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this past season as a junior.

He was more than just a basketball and volleyball player growing up. Bell played wideout and defensive end in football as a freshman and sophomore at Long Beach Poly High School.

Poly has a nationally renowned football program. More than 60 Jackrabbits have gone on to NFL careers. Former Eagles DeSean Jackson, Winston Justice and Brandon Whiting played there.

"That definitely helped me," Bell said of the Poly football experience. "Our football team, everybody was good. We had some good players there. So you definitely had to bring that edge every day in practice and just carry that over to the basketball team. That definitely helped me coming into college."