This year's NBA Combine kicked off with a healthy dose of drama as Warriors superstar Kevin Durant's comments on how the whole thing is a waste of time sparked controversy.
Durant told EPSN.com on Thursday, "Stay your a-- home, work out and get better on your own time."
While Durant may have been right with regards to the top draft prospects such as Markelle Fultz, Justin Jackson, Lonzo Ball and De'Aaron Fox, the Combine is a great way for underexposed college players to boost their draft stock.
And perhaps no prospect has enjoyed a greater boost than Oregon's Jordan Bell.
The six-foot nine junior averaged just 11 points and eight rebounds per game last season, but broke onto the scene with a dazzling performance in the Ducks' Elite Eight victory over Kansas. The power forward grabbed 13 rebounds and added a stunning eight blocks to power his team to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1939.
The knock on Bell has always been his unpolished offensive game, but at today's Combine he laid some of those fears to rest.
That kind of athleticism is almost unheard of in the NBA for a 230-pound guy. Bell also impressed with his 38" maximum vertical and almost seven-foot wingspan.
Bell's time of 2.56 seconds bested the record of 2.64 seconds set by Milwuakee Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon in last year's Combine. He also ranked near the top in multiple other agility tests, including lane agility time (10.63 seconds) and three quarter sprint (3.21 seconds).
Early mock drafts predict that Bell will be taken around pick 42, but after his showing today the 2017 Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year should shoot up the predraft rankings. CBS Sports currently has Bell ranked as only the 16th-best power forward on the draft board, and while he likely won't leapfrog big names like Jonathan Isaac, Lauri Markkanen or TJ Leaf, he's got a shot to sneak into the top 10.
His size should also allow him to play as a center at the NBA level, and that versatility is a key asset that more and more teams are looking for on draft night. Look for him to go between pick 30 and 40 to a team like Atlanta, Orlando or Phoenix.