The Philadelphia 76ers held their second set of private group workouts on Wednesday, this one featuring a little more star power than Monday’s did.
The biggest name out there was Jordan Bell. The Oregon big man put on an impressive showing during March Madness en route to being named the Midwest Region Most Outstanding Player. His skill set reminds the 76ers of a certain Hall of Famer.
“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,” said the Sixers vice president of basketball adminstration and the Delaware 87ers general manager, Brandon Williams.
That’s a pretty strong comparison for someone in Bell’s shoes. The junior averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He is currently projected to go in the second round, but some mocks see him rising into the back end of the first round.
If he falls to the second round (DraftExpress.com has him at No. 35, NBADraft.net has him at No. 28), the 76ers would be foolish to pass up someone who could potentially fill up an NBA stat sheet.
The team would need him to slide a few spots, potentially prying him with their first second round pick at No. 36.
“I know who I am as a player,” Bell told the media following Wednesday’s workout. “Just try to be the best defender, best rebounder, out there blocking shots and getting steals.”
Bell says the 76ers are a team on the “come up” because they “have all the right pieces.” He even already is making himself feel at home, spending the other night with Joel Embiid — whom he shares mutual friends with.
It can’t go unnoticed that general manager Bryan Colangelo noted on Monday that the team is seeking versatile players, and when describing particular players who have come in, emphasis is placed on whether or not they can play “across a few positions” as Williams said of Bell.
Heck, Williams was even gushing over his background in volleyball and how that has really benefitted him on the court in more than one way.
“If you pick up on some little nuances, he blocks a lot of shots with two hands,” Williams said. “It's very interesting that you can almost see the volleyball player blocking at the net for a player, call him short given how big you think he is at 6-foot-8. His spring, his sense of timing, coaches always want players that can guard pick-and-roll and guys who can switch, and he's going to give somebody a great asset in a versatile, defensive player.”
There’s that word again: versatile.