|James Bell, pleased with life.|James Bell
, Villanova, Senior, 6'6 225lbs
2013/14 stats: 29.5 mpg, 14.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.7 TOpg, 3.1 fpg, 42.6% FG, 37.1% 3PT, 81.5% FT
Bell has long since struggled with his inconsistency, which, like Rion Brown above, is largely born out of him having to play a role he should not rightly be fitting. The role Bell should be playing is that of a three and D role player. But when asked to extend beyond that, as Villanova sometimes did ask of him, he struggles.
With decent size for the wing position, and a good frame with some strength on it, Bell has a good physical profile for any league, including the big one. That said, his impact is limited by his skill set, as well as his mindset. Bell is simply not aggressive at attacking the basket, nor as he good at it. Bell rarely gets to the foul line, avoids contact, does not handle the ball well against any kind of pressure, and commits quite a few turnovers by either charging over his opponent or by losing the ball on drives. He is not going to break down a defense or make it as a slasher.
Then again, it is fine for Bell to be only a role player, if he can succeed in it. It is to his strength, in a way, that he is a team player somewhat lacking in assertiveness - he needs only pick his spots, and move it on when he doesn't have them, which he does. Crashing the glass pretty well for a wing, as well as using his strength and toughness on the defense, Bell hustles and demonstrates good defensive intensity, with some clutch stops to his name. Being seen to have done this will help his career prospects.
James Southerland springs to mind as a similar (if slightly bigger) player who signed multiple NBA contracts this season. There is nothing especially prolific about Bell, but then nor was there about Southerland. They play roles, and the NBA needs role players too, so Bell has a faint chance. But he needs to get healthy. Bell has had stress fractures in both legs already in his young career, as well as foot problems. With health, maybe he can make it as a three-and-D wing.
As things stand, however, he has not enough of either aspect. Particularly on the shooting side. Bell has a high release and has added a mid-range shot, and has demonstrated some effectiveness in curl action as opposed to always just spotting up - by any measure, he is a good shooter. But the inconsistency factor is definitely in play here. All shooters are inconsistent, some more than others. But Bell can be particularly so. He needed to have added 10% to that senior year shooting percentage. Alas, Europe beckons.