Clippers to Sign 7-8 George Bell

The most stared-at person when the Clippers open training camp today at Cal Poly Pomona will not be Norm Nixon in his comeback attempt, Benoit Benjamin, or any of the ballyhooed rookies.

It will be George Bell.

That’s as in 7-foot 8-inch, 302-pound George Bell, Biola University class of 1982, who has been out of basketball for 3 years, when he last played with the semipro L.A. Magicians. He is expected to sign a non-guaranteed contract today, which is believed to make him the tallest player ever on a National Basketball Assn. roster.

Meanwhile, guard Quintin Dailey agreed to terms Thursday on a 1-year deal, with the Clippers holding an option for the next season. Dailey, the Clippers’ No. 3 scorer in 1987-88 with 13.4 points a game, was a free agent, but he is expected to sign today and join the team immediately.


General counsel Arn Tellem also said the Clippers are close to an agreement with rookie forward Charles Smith but still are “worlds apart” with No. 1 pick Danny Manning.

Manning and the Clippers are approximately $2 million apart, or $500,000 for each of the 4 years of the deal, so the 1987-88 college basketball player of the year will continue his workouts at Xavier University in Cincinnati.